Wildlife Commission to Begin Repairing Rhodes Pond Dam

By / Fishing / Tuesday, 14 October 2014 04:00

This time next year, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission plans to see the public once again enjoying Rhodes Pond, a 461-acre lake in Cumberland County. The agency currently is working with a consulting firm to develop a design that will repair the dam so that it meets new dam safety requirements.
The Commission plans to complete dam repairs by July 2015, and then re-fill the lake by early September. To keep people informed about the progress made on the dam, the Commission has created a Rhodes Pond webpage on its website, which features updated information on the proposed timeline, as well as project drawings and plans.
The Commission drained Rhodes Pond in June 2013 shortly after rainwater from Hurricane Andrea overtopped the dam, causing erosion on the dam and around the spillway that resulted in a potential public safety hazard. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Dam Safety division issued a notice of deficiency and dam reclassification, ordering the Commission to drain the pond and retain the services of a registered professional engineer to make recommendations on how to repair the dam.
Since that time, the Commission has worked with two consultants to perform analyses of the dam and to make recommendations on repairing it. The first consultant, hired in May, estimated repair costs at $2 to 3.5 million — a fee that was too high, according to Erik Christofferson, chief of the Commission’s Division of Engineering and Lands Management. The new consultant, hired earlier this month, estimated that dam repairs would cost approximately $1.5 million. “After hiring a new consultant, we believe we have discovered a much more cost-effective way of bringing the dam into compliance by creating overtopping protection,” Christofferson said. “This option has been discussed with Dam Safety and it appears to be a viable solution that will result in more than $1 million savings to the agency from the previous consultant’s estimate.”
The Commission will pay for the repairs using money from Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration funds, as well as receipts from hunting and fishing licenses.


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