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DAM WORK: Safety Project On Des Moines River

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Rock arch rapids

Work begins this month to improve safety along a dam on the Des Moines River in Boone.

The project would minimize the danger at the lowhead dam near Highway E-26. Six people have drowned at the dam after being caught in the re-circulating water below.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants to replace the dam with what’s called “rock arch rapids.”  It’s similar to the project that was completed along the Big Sioux River last year.

Last May, the Klondike lowhead dam was replaced with 400-tons of boulders and gravel to create the 65-foot long rock arch rapids. The rapids can be safely used by kayakers and tubers.

The project on the Des Moines River will cost $400,000 and take about a month to complete.