2013-10-24 / Front Page

Boring Of Roaring Run Dam Set To Begin

Findings, report due to PFBC by end of January
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

Geo-technical work is slated to get under way in the near future at Meadow Grounds Lake, with pertinent equipment slated to be onsite by the end of next week.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) press secretary Eric Levis shared with the “News” this week that URS Corp. will oversee the boring and probing of Roaring Run Dam. The company was awarded the geotechnical work after submitting a low bid of $63,322.

According to Levis, the geotechnical work will help identify the issues lying beneath the surface of the dam. As a result, URS will bore approximately 10 holes throughout the earthen dam. A total of 20 to 30 soil samples will be collected from the drilled area, said Levis, who noted the entire process should take around two weeks to complete.

URS was selected after a total of 10 bids were submitted to the state for consideration in mid-August. The bids ranged from URS’s low bid of $63,322 up to $140,000.

“This is not the engineering work to fix the structure,” emphasized Levis.

“This is the first step to identify specific issues and provide possible solutions,” Levis told the “News.”

A final report outlining URS’s findings is tentatively slated to be provided to PFBC by the conclusion of January 2014. The document, stated Levis, will outline alternatives for repairing the dam and the cost associated with implementing each proposed fix.

The total cost of fixing Roaring Run Dam and restoring the 204- acre lake to its former glory has been estimated at $4 million. At this point, $2.25 million has already been allotted in the capital budget and an additional $2.188 million has been requested by PFBC through Senate Bill 680, Levis noted.

“ ... Getting projects on the capital budget list is just the first step. The second, more difficult step, is getting approval from the governor’s office to release the funding. Only then can we move forward with the project, developing a construction timeline and awarding a contract,” said Levis.

In February, PFBC issued an announcement that the lake would be fully-drained the following month after deficiencies and worsening seepage issues were discovered. Over five dozen homes downstream were reportedly at risk in the event of a dam break.

Repair projects involving dams typically take upwards of 3 1/2 years to 4 years to complete but only once the necessary funding is in hand.

Hoping to raise awareness as well as money for the restoration of the lake that is home to various wildlife and waterfowl and is also a home-away-from-home for area fishermen, the Friends of Meadow Grounds Lake (FMGL) is contin- uing to spread the word about its efforts and events.

Over the weekend, the group convened at the McConnellsburg Alumni and Friends building as part of the three-day Fulton Fall Folk Festival, where the first shipment of Meadow Grounds Lake porcelain Christmas ornaments were selling like “hot cakes,” according to one FMGL member. In addition to the sought-after ornaments, the group is also continuing to sell T-shirts boasting their “Just Add Water” motto.

Just as importantly as their fundraising efforts to help refill the lake, FMGL is also moving forward with a postcard campaign. Having seen great success with the campaign over the weekend, the group hopes to continuing flooding the mailboxes of state officials such as Gov. Tom Corbett, Sen. John Eichelberger Jr., Sen. Rich Alloway and even Franklin County resident Warren Elliott, who currently serves in the capacity of president of the PFBC’s board of directors.

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