LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – The first phase of the College Lake Dam Removal Project has begun in Lynchburg, says the City of Lynchburg and the University of Lynchburg.
The plan is to ultimately remove the 85-year-old dam as well as to restore the resulting lakebed to a thriving environment where Blackwater Creek can re-emerge after more than 80 years.
The engineering firm AECOM has been hired by the City to conduct a Preliminary Engineering Report which will help to evaluate the best options for removing the dam and restoring the lakebed.
This part of the project is expected to take approximately 18 months.
This all stems from the August 2, 2018 flood where the dam suffered extensive structural damage which resulted in approximately 150 residents who live downstream to be evacuated.
Since then, the City, as well as the University of Lynchburg, worked closely with experts to make temporary repairs; however, the dam remains a hazard and must be removed.
A separate dam removal design phase will be coordinated with the City of Lynchburg to build a four-lane bridge over Blackwater Creek which will replace the current stretch of Lakeside Drive which currently crosses the dam.
The City expects that Lakeside Drive around the dam might be briefly closed, the roadway is expected to remain open to traffic throughout the dam removal design phase.
There will be public meetings scheduled by the City and the University to discuss the project and hear input from residents as the project continues.
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