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Hauser Dam will be off-limits to pedestrian traffic for the next two weeks - except for weekends - while work is done on the face of the dam.

David Hoffman, a spokesperson for PPL Montana, said employees will be installing "rapid flow restoration equipment" on the dam's face to try to ensure less disruption of water flows in the event of a power failure. In order to do the work, heavy equipment will be in place on the dam.

"We need to install this equipment so if for some reason the plant's power trips off - like with a power surge - this equipment would restore the flow through the gates," Hoffman said. "This has to do with resource protection, like fish or anything else that might depend on water flows."

To do the work, PPL was authorized to draw down the water level in Hauser Dam by about 1 ½ feet. Hoffman said the gradual drawdown began on Monday, when the water level came down by about seven-tenths of a foot.

"We need the drawdown so that workers can install the equipment on the face of the dam," Hoffman said.

Motorized access across Hauser Dam was halted last summer, reportedly for "safety reasons."

Hoffman said pedestrian access should be restored when the work is completed in two weeks. They'll also allow people to walk across the dam on weekends.

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