Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 22, 2014

Bid accepted for Lake Darling project

By Xiomara Levsen | Aug 09, 2013
The scheduled two-year Lake Darling reconstruction project which has taken five years so far was recently rebid due to the delays in progress.

BRIGHTON — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) awarded a bid for the completion of the Lake Darling project on Thursday, Aug. 8.
The DNR received three bids and went with the lowest bid, said DNR staff member Kevin Baskins. The bid was awarded to JB Holland Construction from Decorah for $5,473,527.
Haskins said the completion date is projected to be next summer.
The bid packet included 160,000 cubic yards of sediment  to be removed from the dry lake bed at Lake Darling.
The shoreline will have 5,500 feet reshaped with riprap. Along the shoreline there will be a paved fishing trail installed with handicap access, which will go from the upper end of the lake to the campground. The main boat ramp will be moved inland and a new concrete boat ramp and parking area will be built. All of the main roads will be removed and regraded and paved, as well as the parking lot by the lodge, which will double the parking capacity.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources fisheries management technician Vance Polton said in a previous interview that he did not believe the rebidding of the project would impact the completion date of the project.
He said the contracting company doing the dredging had changed its bid, making the price about $1.4 million more than originally bid. Polton said this is about three times as much as originally bid. He said that the state is required to rebid the project. Polton said the additional money requested is due primarily to the delays in the project. The two-year-long project had started five years ago.   
The deadline date for completion of the dredging project will continue to be mid-March 2014.
If the project continues as scheduled, Polton said that there may be water in Lake Darling next spring. He said that road construction would be going on next spring and much the park will be closed. He said that initial plans are for the park to be open to campers with the new lake sometime around July 4, 2014.
After draining the lake in 2008 the initial plan was that the lake would be open in 2010. Polton said no work could be done in 2009-10 due to heavy rains.
When the 2011-12 winter was unseasonably warm, it halted construction. The ground never froze enough for the equipment to run on the soil.
Polton said that the project was held up due to a problem with permits last year.

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