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Project Updates

Buckeye Lake: Updates and Phase Two Design

Posted on 8/1/2016 by Engineering in Buckeye Lake Dam

The project remains on schedule and Phase 2 engineering data collection is currently underway. Additional soilmix construction of the supporting buttress between the cutoff wall and the old dam is currently scheduled to begin in early 2017. Construction is still expected to be complete during 2019. The stability berm remains an active construction site and access is prohibited.

Phase 2 design is now underway. Because Phase 1 (the construction of the berm and cutoff wall) was an emergency measure requiring full attention of the team, Phase 2 design was always planned to begin after Phase 1 was complete. As the design is being developed we are seeking input and feedback from the community. Please call ODNR at (614) 265-6520. In addition, Open Houses will be scheduled to provide updates on the various aspects of the project including but not limited to design, work schedule and docks. When those events are scheduled a notice will be sent to everyone who has signed up for email updates.

Among the guiding principles used to develop the final detailed design of the dam and ODNR management of the structure after construction are:

Dam safety, the design will: 

    1. Meet all dam safety requirements.
    2. Facilitate safety inspection of dam from land and water
    3. Facilitate rapid repair of dam if needed.
    4. Avoid penetrations and other modifications that could weaken the dam.

Expedited schedule: 
    1. Design and construction will be expedited to return the lake to normal as soon as possible.
    2. ODNR will actively manage water level during construction to assure dam safety.

Community engagement: 

    1. ODNR will continue to share information with and receive feedback from stakeholders through multiple channels.
    2. Dam safety risk reduction is the top priority for information-sharing with the public.

Public access to state property: 

    1. ODNR wants to optimize public access to ODNR lands and lake once the dam is complete.
    2. Public safety will be the top consideration for public-access decisions.

Design for future: 

    1. Dam will be designed with the community in mind.
    2. A buttress wall will be built between the new cutoff wall and the old dam face.
    3. Dam will feature a vertical face on the lakeward side.
    4. Berm remnants on the lakeward side of cutoff wall will be removed.
    5. Top of dam will accommodate safety inspections using ODNR vehicles.
    6. Design will allow for sensible post-construction enhancements that do not elevate risk.

Fiscal responsibility: 

    1. Ohio legislators have appropriated sufficient taxpayer funds to design and build a safe dam.
    2. The dam will be designed to minimize ongoing maintenance costs.
    3. Community proposals for non-dam related enhancements are beyond the current budget scope.

Permitting new docks along dam: 

    1. ODNR plans to allow homeowners on the dam to have access to docks in the future.
    2. Docks will not be allowed to be attached to the dam.
    3. Sufficient clearance will be required between docks for dam safety repairs and boater safety.
    4. Docks will be allowed to be installed only from lakeward side to avoid damage to the dam.
    5. Docks will be required to be installed using ODNR-approved materials and methods to ensure a dock can be readily removed in an emergency.
    6. No docks or boatlifts will be allowed to be stored on top of the dam.
    7. Docks will be restricted to a certain width to ease visual inspection of the dam; e.g. wide "party docks" that could conceal long reaches of the dam will not be allowed.
    8. Docks and other structures along the dam will require ODNR approval before installation.


These principles will guide future decisions regarding safety; schedule; community engagement; interim and final dam improvements; and dam operation.

Please be aware: for your safety, crossing the fence to the Embankment Stability Berm is prohibited except for emergency responders and authorized personnel. Do no cross the fence for any reason.

Visit the Buckeye Lake Dam Risk Reduction project page

Buckeye Lake State Park web page.