Work continues on state park dam

By Anthony Conchel -

Construction site as of June 13 at Mount Gilead State Park.

The new dam and spillway structure at Mount Gilead State Park remains under construction and on time for completion.

In recent weeks workers have completed installing basin slabs, upstream wing walls and structural anchors. Work on the walls, stems, embankment placement and concrete polishing remains ongoing and should be completed within the next 30 days.

Also, work soon will resume on sediment removal and building the training wall concrete forms as part of the Upper Dam improvements.

Project completion is scheduled for the end of 2017, according to an Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman.

The $7.9 million project began in August 2016. Because of the project the lakeview and adjacent trails, as well as the lower parking lot of the park, are closed to visitors.

Mount Gilead Lake Lower Dam was built in 1930 and has a maximum height of 20 feet. It also has a 90-foot-long concrete spillway that discharges water into Whetstone Creek.

As a Class I high-hazard potential structure, a sudden failure of the dam likely would result in the structural collapse of at least one residence or one commercial or industrial business and probable loss of human life. (Hazard ratings refer to the consequences of dam failure, not the dam’s condition.)

The local state park has undergone other renovations in recent years.

Those included laying 22 new full-size concrete pads throughout camping areas to better accommodate camping vehicles visiting the park.

Also part of the improvements, the park now has a full shower house, as well as new men’s and women’s restroom facilities.

The total cost of those projects was around $900,000.

Construction site as of June 13 at Mount Gilead State Park. site as of June 13 at Mount Gilead State Park.

By Anthony Conchel