STEPHENSON — Shakey Lakes will no longer be drawn down for road construction, the Menominee County Board of Commissioners decided at their meeting Tuesday. 

Earlier this year, the Road Commission had made the decision to draw down Shakey Lakes about 4 feet for needed road construction. The culverts that run under the road were installed in 1963 and are beginning to shrink in size due to normal wear and tear. The road commission had planned to draw the lake down July 23 to allow for construction on the culverts.  

However, this plan was not well-received by many who felt the draw down would negatively affect the tourism of the area. Darrell Moilanen, engineer/ manager of the Menominee Road Commission, said they have received numerous requests from Menominee Parks Department and the public to reschedule the draw down for after Labor Day, so the camping season would not be affected. 

However, the Road Commission was hesitant to delay the project any further as an eight week delay would cost the road commission fees from Hebert Construction Company, which has been hired to complete the project, Moilanen said.

After considering the feedback of the initial project from the Parks Department and others, the road commission has decided to go with a different approach to the construction. Instead of  draining the entire lake, they will instead have sheet piling installed to form a cofferdam on the upstream side of the dam, according to Moilanen.

Moilanen said this method is more expensive than drawing down the entire lake, which is why the Road Commission had not chosen this method initially. This would cost the project an additional $73,400 but would prevent the delay and will have no effect on the rest of the lake or the campground. 

Moilanen said, “nobody will even notice a difference to the lake during the construction.” Tourists and campers can still use the lake for fishing, boating and swimming. “The Board felt this was the best course of action for all parties involved.”

River Road is still planned to be closed during the construction, and a detour will be provided at the Shakey Lakes Dam.