A dam in South Akron is poised to receive a nearly $4 million face-lift.
The Ohio Controlling Board is slated to vote today on funding the Tuscarawas River Diversion Dam project that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has requested.
The earthen dam — 26 feet high and 1,000 feet long — does not meet safety standards and shows other age-related deficiencies, project manager Jake Preston said.
The state-owned dam, part of Portage Lakes State Park, creates the 83-acre lake that lies on Firestone Country Club’s North Course on the north side of East Warner Road. It lies just east of Firestone Metro Park.
Plans call for “armoring” or hardening the existing embankment with about 12,500 cubic yards of roller-compacted concrete. That will protect the dam from water potentially going over its top during major storms. The structure then will be topped with additional soil.
In addition, the existing spillway will be rehabilitated, the lake drain gates will be replaced and automated, and 10,000 square feet of steel sheet will be installed to reduce water seepage through the dam.
Under an agreement between the state and Summit County Engineer Al Brubaker, the existing five-span concrete vehicular bridge on Harrington Road also will be rehabilitated during the project.
Construction is scheduled to begin in August and be completed by December 2014.
Akron-based Kenmore Construction Co. will perform the work. Its bid was $3,932,324.
The state’s estimate had been $6.6 million.
Summit County will provide $417,016 toward the project.
ODNR is seeking $3,860,00, including a contingency account of $344,692.
Work on the dam won’t begin until after the Bridgestone Invitational is held July 31 through Aug. 4 at Firestone Country Club, Preston said.
The project should have little effect on lake levels at the country club, he said. The water level might be lowered several inches, but draining the lake won’t be required.
The new project might restrict access to Firestone Metro Park during construction, but the park will remain open, said spokesman Nate Eppink of Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.
Access to the park will remain open to visitors coming from the north on Harrington Road, he said. From the south, access will be closed.
The dam was built in the 1950s as a water source for local industry, the state said. Water from the spillway drains through the metro park and normally goes into Long Lake, but can be diverted to East Reservoir via a feeder canal.
The state has performed similar work at other dams in the Portage Lakes area.
In 2011, the state made major improvements to the earthen West Reservoir Dam in Coventry Township because of aging problems. Final cost of the project reached nearly $2 million.
No other projects are near construction. The state is seeking consulting firms to design improvements to dams at East and North reservoirs and at Long Lake, Preston said.
For more information on the project, write to Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Statewide Dam Repair Project, 2045 Morse Road, Building C-4, Columbus, OH 43229, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You also can call ODNR at 614-265-6559 or the Summit County Engineer’s Office at 330-643-8170.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or email@example.com.