Spring Lake Park, MN
1481 81st Ave NE
Spring Lake Park, MN 55432
763.786.9800 Fax: 763.786.2952
Estimating: FAX 763.786.2952
Spring Lake Park, MN 763.786.9800
Grand Forks, ND 701.795.6994
Watford City, ND 701.842.2188
By George Spencer
“Come hell or high water” has a special meaning for the people in the town of Devils Lake, N.D. The town of Devils Lake has endured the threat of flooding since its founding that has taken a huge financial toll on the area.
Now, thanks to the construction of a much-needed levee that eliminates all but the most remote possibility of flooding, the lake and the town of the same name combine for a booming tourism destination for fishing, bird watching, hunting and other outdoor recreation. With confidence in the levee, the town is seeing other construction starts, such as the Walmart Supercenter on U.S. Highway 2 and the expansion of other local businesses.
When Devils Lake was founded in 1882, the city of 7,000 in the north central part of the state was eight miles from the lake. Since 1994, the lake has swelled across the prairie from 69 square miles to 285 square miles, growing to an area the size of Fort Worth, Tex., which threatened the city’s survival.
Today, this once-besieged county seat is guarded by a 13-mile-long levee raised partly through the multi-year efforts of Park Construction, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based construction company.
“Without the levee, half of my city would be gone,”says Devils Lake mayor Dick Johnson. “It’s the Eighth Wonder of the World.” That statement will sound hyperbolic to many, but to locals the benefit»s of the levee make it an admirable quality-of-life construction project.
“I grew up near Devils Lake, and this has been a satisfying project for me personally,”says Mike Nottestad, Park Construction’s western division vice president. In 2010, his company won a $24.5 million contract to reinforce and heighten the levee for the sixth time in 16 years, each effort attempting to keep pace with the lake’s rise.
Park Construction is ranked number 14 in the Top 25 General Contractors by dollar volume of construction in the 2013 Twin Cities Business B.I.G. Book. Recent Metro area projects mentioned are BNSF Midway Hub (St. Paul) paving and drainage phase five, North Ravine area improvements (Newport), and Lake Mille Lacs historical wall repair (Garrison).
As seen in Western Builder
Covering more than 211,300 acres (261 square miles), Devils Lake is the largest natural body of water in North Dakota. According to “The Official Web Site for the City of Devils Lake,” the lake has earned the reputation of being the Perch Capital of the World, with anglers catching 2-pounders on a regular basis. There are other sports fish in the lake that has become a destination for hundreds of thousands of migrating waterfowl in the fall and thirsty whitetail deer, making Devils Lake a popular hunting as well as fishing destination.
During the past 20 years, the water level in the lake has risen about 20-feet – creating a flood threat to the city of Devils Lake and its 7,100 residents who live in this natural, recreational paradise.
“We worked in the Devils Lake basin building a levee to protect the city from the lake,” states Britton Lawson, grade foreman/ GPS tech for Park Construction, Fridley, Minn. “Our role
was to raise the existing levee by 10 feet and improve the pump station that collects the city’s storm water that is funneled back into the lake.”
Increasing the levee’s height also required that the levee be widened to withstand the increased water pressure.
Read More About Devil's Lake »
Park Construction Company was the Primary Contractor responsible for the construction of a 100,000 GPM Pump Station and Gatewell for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Devils Lake, ND.