Rehabilitation work at Rough River dam is officially underway.
According to the United States Corps of Engineers (USACE), the first phase of the Rough River Dam remediation project - which involves the relocation of State Highway 79 to the upstream slope of the dam and the construction of a new, temporary road - has begun.
The construction of a new temporary road and the relocation of Highway 79 are meant to ensure uninterrupted traffic while repairs to the dam are taking place.
So far, the speed limit approaching the construction zone has been reduced to 45 mph, and on Monday, July 28, dump trucks began hauling rock onto the dam.
The dam itself is not currently at risk; however, research by the USACE determined that, over time, the karst foundations on which the dam was built could pose the risk of eroding the bed rock.
After the relocation of Highway 79, which is the only portion of the project expected to take place in 2014, work will begin to use grout to fill natural crevices that have formed in the bed rock under the Rough River dam. This work is expected to begin in 2015 and will prevent water from moving under the dam between the lake and the tailwater area.
If the grout will suffice, the project will be completed after its installation; if not, a cut-off wall will be installed to permanently remedy the issue.
This project is estimated to take three to five years to complete, after which time, Highway 79 will be restored to its original position. The temporary highway is planned to be repurposed as a walking trail for dam visitors.
For updates on the Rough River Dam remediation project as it progresses, visit the Rough River Lake Facebook page or the USACE website at www.lrl.usace.army.mil.