The dam is 126 feet wide. It features two gates that can lift up a total of 19 feet. The structure is 28 feet tall overall. It was built at the site of an existing rapids, so there was already a small natural pool in the river behind the dam. Since the Evtac Mine closed down 2003, the dam has been left in the wide open position. That is the dam itself is not backing up any additional water in the pool than what the rapids was backing up. There is still a natural waterfall that is about 9 feet tall. When Evtac was in full operation, the dam was used to create a pool of water that could be used in the taconite manufacturing process. The plant is now running again, but at a much reduced rate. The mine is able to draw off enough water without having to close the two large gates.
Forbes Dam is known by several names. The local government refers to it as the Saint Louis River Dam. It is listed as the Oglebay Norton Dam in the National Dam Inventory. Some call it the Evtac Dam since it is part of the Evtac Mining complex. The state DNR calls it the Forbes Dam, so I went with that name. Forbes is the small town just northwest of this location.
The photo above is an overview of the dam site and the highway bridge that crosses the dam structure. The road leads to the Evtac Mine complex.