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Project Updates

Buckeye Lake: Review of Phase II Dam Construction and Goals for 2018 Completion

Posted on 11/22/2017 by Engineering in Buckeye Lake Dam

As ODNR continues Phase II of the Buckeye Lake Dam construction project, we wanted to share the latest news on the project, which remains on schedule to be completed in late 2018.

We are nearing completion of a scheduled testing period. Activities during this period included testing and evaluating the recently installed soil-mix work to verify that it is compliant with all quality requirements prior to resuming trenching. With this critical testing and evaluation complete, we anticipate both trenchers will be active after Thanksgiving. The anticipated schedule will be 12 hours each day, and working shifts will consist of 11 straight days followed by three days off.

We also wanted to reaffirm some of the basic principles and guidelines ODNR has been using throughout the project. The principles (listed below; also available in PDF [130 Kb]), updated from a previous communication in August 2016, have and will continue to guide ODNR decisions regarding safety, schedule, community engagement, interim and final dam improvements, and dam operation. 

Buckeye Lake Dam Design and Construction Guiding Principles

Dam safety - the completed dam 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. ODNR will continue working 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 the lake once the dam is complete.   2. Public safety will be the top consideration for public-access decisions.

Dam design:
  1. Dam has been designed with the community in mind.
  2. Phase II: A buttress wall will be built between the new cutoff wall and the old dam face.
  3. Dam will feature a mostly sloping face, but in some cases a vertical face, on the lakeward side.
  4. Top of dam will accommodate safety inspections using ODNR vehicles.
  5. Design will allow for sensible post-construction enhancements that do not elevate risk and are authorized by ODNR.

Fiscal responsibility:
  1. Ohio legislators have appropriated sufficient taxpayer funds to design and build a safe dam.
  2. The dam has been 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 methods.
  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 in the lake along the dam will require ODNR approval before installation.
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