Bulldozer removal from Lake Wissota gets off to slow start - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Work continues to remove bulldozer from Lake Wissota

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Update: Chippewa County (WQOW) - A heavy-duty recovery is attracting a crowd at Lake Wissota. On Friday, we broke the story about a bulldozer that went through the ice.

It was being used to make a track for a snowmobile race when it went into the water.  No one was hurt. With the help of scuba divers, the man who was driving the bulldozer, and several others, plan to use a winch to pull it along the bottom of the lake until it's close to shore. Many people gathered to watch the process Wednesday, including one man who came from Stillwater, Minnesota.

"We heard about this last week. That it went through the ice and stuff like that. So I'm kind of one where I have to go down there. I've got to see this going; you know they're supposed to pull this out of the ice. So you know, of course! Who sees that everyday?"

Before they can use the winch, crews have to cut a slot in the ice which is taking time.

The bulldozer is nearly 700 feet from the shoreline. The plan is to lift it out of the water with a backhoe once it's close to shore. At this point it's unclear how long it will take to get it out.


Chippewa Co. (WQOW) - Work to remove a 10-ton bulldozer stuck at the bottom of Lake Wissota was off to a slow start Wednesday morning.

Last Thursday, a man was using the bulldozer to make a track for a snowmobile race. That bulldozer then broke through the ice and sank in about forty feet of water. With the help of scuba divers, the operator and several others are planning to use a winch to pull the vehicle along the bottom of the lake until it is close to shore. To do that, they started cutting a slot in the ice today. But that process has been slow.

"The trench where the cables go is filling up with water. There's three layers of ice and there's water in between the layers. And when the water is in the trench, it lubricates the cutter and it cuts slower. So it's at least a couple of hours behind schedule," said Dan Koich, a retired DNR employee overseeing the removal.

The bulldozer is located about 680 feet from the shoreline. At this point it is unclear how many more days the entire process will take.
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