MWCD approves partnering agreement for work at Bolivar Dam

July 1, 2011

Plans are moving forward for maintenance and rehabilitation on a second dam in the Muskingum River Watershed.


The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have confirmed their commitment for a safety assurance project at Bolivar Dam that is estimated to cost between $150 million to $175 million.


Members of the MWCD Board of Directors have approved a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the USACE for the work, which is scheduled to get under way in 2013 on the dam in northern Tuscarawas County. As the required non-federal local cost-share sponsor for the project, the MWCD will contribute an estimated $34.5 million to $40 million – or 23 percent of the total cost – for the project to address seepage concerns at the dam.


The MWCD also is the local cost-share sponsor for the project that is under way at nearby Dover Dam, which involves the installation of anchors to stabilize the concrete dam located on the Tuscarawas River north of Dover. The total cost of that project is $68.5 million, with the MWCD share of that project estimated at $2.4 million. The USACE operates the dams and the MWCD manages much of the reservoir areas in the 16-dam system.


“This agreement with the federal government is another important step in the commitment by the MWCD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide for the safe and effective operation of the system of reservoirs and dams in the Muskingum River Watershed,” said John M. Hoopingarner, MWCD executive director/secretary. “The MWCD was organized nearly 80 years ago to reduce the effects of flooding and provide water for beneficial public uses, and the work planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Bolivar Dam protects these benefits in the watershed.”


The work planned at Bolivar Dam includes installation of a concrete seepage barrier on the upstream toe of the dam and of a seepage barrier cutoff wall in the left abutment of the dam, augmentation of the existing downstream seepage blanket, rehabilitation of the operating machinery and gates, maintenance and/or rehabilitation of the existing relief well system and improvements to an installation of additional instrumentation.


Progress continues at a steady pace on planning and construction for the five priority projects to stabilize and ensure the safe and effective performance of the dams as identified by the USACE. The other priority projects are at Beach City and Mohawk dams, along with Zoar Levee.


The USACE estimates the five priority projects will cost up to $683.5 million and that construction will begin on the remaining projects over the next several years. The MWCD is committed as the local cost-share sponsor for all of the projects with an estimated investment of up to $143.6 million.


The USACE projects that contracts are expected to be awarded in 2015 at Mohawk Dam in Coshocton County and in 2016 for both Beach City Dam in Stark and Tuscarawas counties and Zoar Levee in Tuscarawas County.


The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the 16 reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving nearly $10 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government.


For more information about the MWCD, visit and on Facebook.


### - END - ###

« Back to News