Fairgrounds takes on new look with drainage project underway

Those passing by the property may notice dewatering and pipe laying this week as the infrastructure goes into the ground.

Dewatering is taking place in the Wadena County Fairgrounds this week as crews install drainage pipe throughout the grounds to improve drainage of water to the north of the property. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal
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Once green grass is now overturned across acres of the Wadena County Fairgrounds as crews work to install a much talked about drainage system from the south end to the north.

Where carnival rides light up the midway one week of the year, crews were busy digging trenches this week and laying out drain pipe across the area. This week's work included installing manhole structures and piping between them.

There are two sets of dewatering pipes pumping water from the work area as best they can. Highway 10 traffic may notice water gushing near the fenceline. Removing the water allows workers to continue working underground.

Wadena County Coordinator Ryan Odden said there was a plugged culvert on Monday morning to deal with along Greenwood Ave. The big action item was getting a lift station installed this week along with all the piping. That would bring an end to dewatering and the many channels could be recovered.

Wadena contractor Kern and Tabery have been busy digging, filling and leveling the site so users at next year's fair should notice a smooth midway to return once again. This time, the hope is that there should be no threat of a wet fairgrounds again.


The project includes a lift station with two pumps, a collection system, raising the area closest to the highway and adding a ditch by the highway.

The city of Wadena was awarded $5 million through a state bonding bill with $2 million of that going for the fairgrounds drainage project. The construction work for this project comes at a cost just under $1 million.

Portions of the fairgrounds were closed to through traffic this week as Birch Avenue has been cut in order to lay drain pipes under the roadway.

The Fear Factory Haunted House is still going on within the fairgrounds during this construction. It's best to enter Birch Ave. from the east side entryway. Tickets are taken under the show arena and the haunted house is right next door. Event nights are Oct 29, 30 and 31 from 7-11 p.m.

Dewatering is taking place in the Wadena County Fairgrounds Monday, Oct. 25, as crews install drainage pipe throughout the site to improve drainage of water to the north of the property. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

He's a writer, editor, photographer, truth seeker and promoter of the Wadena area.
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