Littleton Dam Replacement Project Could Cause Hazards Upstream

Work is expected to start Monday on replacing the Littleton Dam in Buchanan County. But the DNR says the construction project could create hazardous ice conditions on the Wapsi River upstream.

Crews will be taking out the dam and replacing it with a rapids. Nine people have died in the Littleton Dam’s currents since it was built.

The first step of the project removes the dam, which will lower the water level supporting the ice by about five feet. The DNR says the ice may appear to be stable, but may have several feet of empty space below it so it could collapse unpredictably.

Snowmobilers, ice anglers and any other users of the Wapsipinicon River should avoid the area from the Cutshall Access to the Littleton Dam while the project is going on.

The DNR says the water level will go back up as the rapids are built, so it’s just a temporary issue.