Alpine Dam tapped for upgrade as part of city’s CIP plan

ROCKFORD – The Alpine Dam may soon see repairs after the Rockford City Council took the first step Monday to repair the 76-year-old structure.

The dam is at Rueben Aldeen Park has become a landmark of sorts, a place where local high schoolers meet to paint permissible graffiti at the end of their senior year. It’s main function is to control water levels in Keith Creek.

Now, leaders say repairs to its spillway and outlets could be in order. The city, however, must first assess the dam to determine the extent of those fixes.

The assessment will cost just under $470,000. Upgrades could cost as much as $2.5 million. The project is part of Rockford’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan. Rockford is considering Chicago engineering firm HNTB Corp. for the assessment.

The dam has not failed in its history. Leaders say upgrades are preventative and will keep it functioning for decades. They will also allow operators to control the structure remotely.

“It’s deteriorating, and before it becomes a major problem, we would like to address it,” City Engineer Timothy Hinkens said.

Construction could begin in 2020. R.

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