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It seems appropriate that right around the new year, volunteers removed the old sagging wooden bridge over the dam and replaced it with a new steel bridge. During the first week of December, volunteers Bernie Kelleher, Mike Francoeur, Pete Walkes, Dan Riozzi and Jim DeFonce disassembled the old bridge and brought it to the transfer station. A week later, the new bridge was erected by Keller Construction and Conrad Coon Crane Service using steel support beams donated by Colarusso Construction and steel deck grating and railings donated by Keller Construction. The bridge will be painted in the spring and is expected to last for many years. A huge thanks to the volunteers and companies who donated time and materials.

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Dam upgrades described in the previous post have been completed.

Completed repairs west side spillway

Completed repairs at west side spillway

Completed repairs around sluice pipe

Completed repairs around sluice pipe

If you passed by the dam lately, you may have noticed all the heavy construction equipment in action. The last phase of the dam repair project was started on March 24th by contractor A. Colarusso & Sons. This phase involves the removal and replacement of deteriorating concrete in two areas of the downstream face of dam. The first area of repair is on the west side secondary spillway which has a significant area of undermining that extends 4 – 5 feet into the dam (photo 1 below). The plan calls for the removal of rock and deteriorated concrete, doweling of rebar into the bedrock and remaining solid concrete, and then forming and pouring new concrete to fill the void. The second area is on the main dam above the sluice pipe (photo 2 below). This area will require the removal of approximately 240 square feet of the face of the dam to a minimum of 3-inches in depth, installation of new rebar, and then forming and pouring new concrete. The work is expected to take about 2 weeks. The project will complete the latest upgrades to the dam requested by DEC.

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Photo 1 – Repair area at west side spillway

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Photo 2 – Repair area around sluice pipe

On Monday, April 28th, the contractor completed the sluice pipe relining project. The new pipe was installed and grouted in place; it fit like a glove. The summer boards have been installed at the top of the spillway and we are bringing the lake back up to summer level. With the rain forecast over the next few days, it won’t take long. You can see construction photos on the GALLERY page.

Repairs to the dam’s sluice gate were delayed a week and are now scheduled to begin the week of April 21st. A coffer dam will be installed to prevent water from entering the sluice pipe while it is being re-lined. Repairs are expected to take about one week. During that time there will be no control over the lake level other than what goes over the dam’s spillway. Please be advised that if we have heavy rains while repairs are being done, the lake level could rise quickly.

Once the repairs are completed, the lake will be returned to summer level as soon as possible.

As many of you are aware, the level of the lake rose swiftly last week due to heavy rains, warm temperatures and snow melt. Even with the dam’s sluice gate wide open for several days before the rain, the lake filled quickly. So what happens next?

Relining of the sluice pipe (reported in the January newsletter) is tentatively scheduled to begin the week of April 14. This date, however, depends on our ability to get the lake back down to winter level. Assuming we attain winter level by April 14th, coffer steel will again be installed in front of the sluice gate to keep water out of the pipe while repairs are being made. The repairs are expected to take about one week.

Many of you who suffered dock damage this winter will have a very short window of opportunity to do dock repairs and any other shoreline projects while the lake is down before the week of April 14th. During the week the sluice pipe is being relined however, we will have no control over the lake level and the water could rise suddenly again depending on rain and flow of the Valatie Kill. Keep an eye on the water level and do your shoreline work as quickly and safely as possible.

Construction for the latest dam repair started on December 3, 2013. The contractor installed a coffer steel dam and de-watered the area in front of the sluice gate. Upon inspection, it was learned that the gasket, which we assumed required replacement, was in fine condition. However, several of the surrounding wedges were missing, which was the root cause of the leaks around the gate. The wedges were replaced and the sluice gate now has a good seal. Although the final tally is not yet in, alternative methods of installing the coffer steel dam for dewatering and replacement of the wedges instead of the entire sluice gate gasket may have reduced the cost of Phase 1 work to less than half of the original estimate.

Once dry, the sluice pipe was inspected and it was determined that the pipe needed to be relined. The contractor is preparing an estimate to reline the sluice pipe. Depending on the estimated cost and funds available in the Dam Reserve Fund, it is hoped that work to reline the sluice pipe and repairs to the dam’s facade can be completed this coming spring. In the meantime, the water level has been returned to its normal winter level. However, the coffer steel dam remains in place, limiting full control of winter water levels.

As mentioned in the October KLC News, there is a potential for more hazardous conditions for people venturing out on the ice this winter. The limited control of the water level below the ice could cause thinner ice. If you are not sure, please stay off the ice.