Town hall scheduled to update residents about upcoming work at Edenville Dam

November 9, 2020
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has scheduled an online public meeting for Thursday, Nov. 12, to update mid-Michigan residents on upcoming construction work that will safely secure the remaining portion of the Edenville Dam to avoid potential devastating future flooding and address ongoing impacts to infrastructure and natural resources.

The Edenville Dam’s remaining earthen embankment sustained significant damage during May’s flooding at both the Tobacco and Tittabawassee Rivers and EGLE has issued an emergency order to perform critical repairs. Work is expected to begin this fall and be completed in time for the spring thaw, when rain and snowmelt is expected to increase water levels.

The webinar, scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 12, will explain in detail the process that will be followed to make necessary modifications to the Tobacco River spillway, stabilize the dam and return the Tobacco River to its pre-failure route. Staff from EGLE’s Dam Safety Program will outline the emergency order and next steps, the timeline for work to begin and its impact on property owners and answer questions from the public. Engineers from AECOM will explain the project as well as alternatives that were considered.

Registration is open to attend the webinar, or you can sign up prior to the start of the meeting. Those without internet access can attend the meeting by dialing 312-626-6799 and using the access code 839 9835 9700 #.

Individuals needing language assistance or accommodations for effective participation at the meeting should contact Jenni Laudazio at or 517-284-5467 in advance of the meeting to request language, mobility, visual, hearing, translation, and/or other assistance.

Following the failure of the Edenville Dam, Wixom Lake was mostly drained on the Tittabawassee River side. This led to the diversion of the Tobacco River, causing the collapse of the M-30 causeway bridge and abandoning over a mile of the Tobacco River downstream of the dam. Despite the loss of the Tittabawassee River impoundment, the Tobacco River side of the dam was still holding back a significant amount of water. EGLE, in partnership with MDOT, hired AECOM to conduct engineering investigations and analyses on the remaining dam. These analyses identified significant concerns over the stability of the remaining dam and its ability to withstand springtime high flows.

Fearing a potential failure of the remaining dam, EGLE tasked AECOM with designing temporary measures to reduce risk of failure, stabilize the dam and mitigate ongoing impacts. The State of Michigan is reviewing contractor bids for completing these measures before next Spring. The temporary measures will be in place until a more permanent solution is decided upon for the future of the dam.

The emergency work plan is separate from an ongoing independent forensic investigation of the causes behind the collapse of the Edenville and Sanford Dams and recommendations for future action. That in-depth investigation by five subject matter experts is expected to be completed next year.

Keep up with developments at EGLE’s Edenville Dam Failure webpage.

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