These gates are opened when the dam's power generators can't handle all the flow. There are currently four steel gates and two timber gates.
"With the current (timber) gates, you have to destroy them to get them out," Blue Earth County Engineer Al Forsberg said. "The only time we've opened one, we had to take a backhoe and break it out. It's not a safe operation."
The project also would repair a retaining wall just downstream of the dam and would replace the windows in the old power house. Decades ago, vandals destroyed the windows and the county replaced them with concrete blocks.
Also included in the billl was $200,000 for planning the Minnesota River Trail between Mankato and St. Peter and $450,000 for a city of Mankato bus shelter.