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Work on damaged dam to begin

Staff writer

Two years after a storm caused significant damage to the dam at the county park and lake, work to repair the dam will begin by June 1.

After reviewing three bids on the work Monday, county commissioners Monday approved a $120,269.23 bid from Nelson-Fowles Construction.

The construction company is expected to spend three months on the project.

Work will be overseen by engineer Brian Severin of Sustainable Environmental Consultants, Emporia. Severin was the engineer who inspected damage after the storm and made recommendations for what needed to be done.

“Water flowed out after the storm for probably the next five days straight,” lake superintendent Isaac Hett said. “We had the road closed because of the water. It did a lot of damage to a bunch of culverts and roadways at the lake.”

Flooding damaged a submerged spillway outlet, but the outlet won’t immediately be repaired.

“It was fixed and it is working,” Hett said. “It’s not up to the modern state code, so we have to change it. Water officials gave us until the second week of June, 2025.”

An engineer’s plan to fix the spillway outlet will be needed.

After the storm two years ago, large washouts appeared on the south side of the dam, water ran over the lake’s low-water bridge, then started running over the spillway, and roads in residential areas washed out.

When the dam was inspected, engineers deemed it “a significant hazard.”

They recommended immediate repair of portions of the dam and an emergency action plan to be submitted to Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources for approval.

DWR said safety of the roadway atop the dam was a consideration, and the backslope of the dam would be compromised in the event of overtopping.

The dam was built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration.

In other business Monday, commissioners:

  • Discussed, but made no decisions, on raising fees for construction and demolition waste at the transfer station.
  • Voted not to build a bridge on 80th Rd. that Doyle Creek watershed officer Brian Lang requested last week to reduce deficiencies in watershed.
  • Voted to have county counsel Brad Jantz begin forfeiture proceedings on RVs and campers abandoned at the county lake.

Last modified May 11, 2023

 

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