Orwell Dam bridge will be replaced

Orwell bridge.jpg
A new bridge is needed and will be constructed on Highway 15 near Orwell Dam, southwest of Fergus Falls. (Photo byTom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent)

FERGUS FALLS -- The Otter Tail County board of commissioners, on Feb. 11, approved a contract with Schroeder Construction of Glenwood to replace a Highway 15 bridge near Orwell Dam, southwest of Fergus Falls.

Work will begin later this year and will be completed no later than Sept. 1, 2020. On Dec. 17 the five-person county board awarded the bridge replacement project to the lowest bidder, Schroder Construction, in the amount of $1.14 million as recommended by County Highway Engineer Chuck Grotte.

“A total of $423,000 for this project will come from the state of Minnesota, through the local bridge replacement program,” Grotte said. “Remaining funds will come from the countywide half-cent sales tax and through county bond sales.”

The exact location is along Highway 15, between Highways 2 and 114. A detour will be in place during construction of the new bridge.

Grotte, who heads the Otter Tail County Highway Department, previously coordinated plans for the new bridge, specifications and special provisions.


Bridges are given sufficiency ratings based on inspector ratings of various aspects of their top decks and underlying structures. Bridges with scores of 50 percent or below are classified as structurally deficient.

In 2017 the Highway 15 bridge near Orwell Dam had a rating of 49.7.

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