2013-10-05 / Front Page

Groundwork continues for Stevenson Dam project

$23M to be invested in rehabilitation

Preliminary work continues on a $23 million rehabilitation project at George B. Stevenson Dam, near the Cameron/Potter county border.

Safety risks at the 58-year-old dam will be addressed with construction of a grout curtain and cutoff wall along the upstream toe of the embankment to eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of seepage through the rock foundation.

Engineering studies have shown the potential for embankment material to wash away, threatening a failure of the dam that could affect communities as far downstream as 140 miles.

Funds for the project, to be supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, comes from state-issued bonds. The Corps maintains Stevenson Dam and three other structures to control flooding on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Others are Alvin R. Bush Dam at Kettle Creek State Park, Curwensville Dam and Foster Joseph Sayers Dam at Bald Eagle.

George B. Stevenson Dam was built in 1955. The 142-acre reservoir offers opportunities for fishing and boating in a biologically diverse, sprawling 1,910- acre park.

The project engineer, Schnabel Engineering, recently applied for a water discharge permit as part of the preliminary work. Officials have also been developing a sirenbased early warning system that would be used in the event of an emergency.

Sinnemahoning State Park manager Lisa Bainey (647-8401) is the first point of contact for the project. Cameron County Emergency Management Director Kevin Johnson is also involved.

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