The Horlick Dam may be years off from giving way if not repaired, but the dam doesn’t meet the safety criteria the state has established, said Michael Hahn, the chief environmental engineer for the southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

The problem: The dam’s spillway capacity doesn’t meet state standards.

After giving a presentation about the Root River Watershed Restoration Plan to the Caledonia village board Monday, Hahn said that in a large flood the dam could be in danger of failure. But the commission is starting to look at how the problem may be resolved.

“I don’t think there’s great urgency, the dam itself hasn’t shown to be structurally unsound, but if the dam were to fail — its a significant hazard dam — it would be damage to property, not to loss of life,” Hahn said.

The commission is looking at a number of alternatives, but hasn’t made any final recommendations.


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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