Work to stabilize eroding hillside at Pleasant Hill Lake to begin in November

September 9, 2011

The “worst” shoreline at a Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) lake is about to get fixed.


Bids will be accepted soon for a construction project estimated at nearly $1 million to stabilize a severely eroded portion of Pleasant Hill Reservoir in Ashland County. The MWCD expects that work will begin in November and be completed sometime next spring.


“This project has been No. 1 for several years on our list of nearly 500 shoreline projects at the MWCD reservoirs,” said Boris E. Slogar, P.E., MWCD’s chief engineer. “There have been two years of planning and preparation that has now culminated in the move to advertise the project for construction bids soon and then for construction to begin in a couple of months.”


The rapidly eroding portion of shoreline located along the southern portion of Pleasant Hill Lake near the Pine Hill Boat Club also is threatening the safety and stability of several homes located in the region. The recommended solution as identified by design experts will involve the construction of an engineered buttress to stabilize the slope, Slogar said.


“We have conducted a very thoughtful and complete review of this shoreline and the entire reservoir at Pleasant Hill Lake in order to provide a solution that is cost-effective and addresses the problem to protect the shoreline and water quality for the future,” Slogar said. “In the future routine maintenance on this site will protect it and prevent it from the severe erosion it now has seen.”


The MWCD kicked off an annual program to address shoreline erosion and stability concerns at its reservoirs last winter. Nearly two miles of shoreline was protected and restored at four reservoirs after the completion of more than 20 individual stabilization projects that cost more than $1.2 million, Slogar said.


The MWCD projects were completed at:


Atwood Reservoir – 11 projects at $399,157

Charles Mill Reservoir – 4 projects at $201,300

Seneca Reservoir – 7 projects at $365,957

Tappan Reservoir – 4 projects at $255,795


Some of the projects were completed by MWCD staff members and others were completed by private contractors that were awarded contracts for the work through the public bidding process.


The MWCD also removed more than 1,200 tires, furniture and other debris from all of its reservoirs during the winter months.


The MWCD announced last year that nearly 500 individual sites are in need of varying amounts of shoreline improvements. A team of MWCD engineering staff members has been using innovative mapping and aerial photographic technology to review the 300 total miles of shoreline at the reservoirs. The work that has been identified would cover about 24 miles worth of shoreline at the 10 MWCD lakes.


The work is paid for through the MWCD’s funds collected from property owners in the Muskingum River Watershed who receive identified benefits from the Amendment to the Official Plan of the MWCD that calls for maintenance and rehabilitation in the system of flood-reduction and water conservation reservoirs and dams in the region.


Planning already is under way for projects for the 2011-12 winter season, with the goal of another 20 to 30 projects to be completed. Projects likely will include work at Clendening, Piedmont and Pleasant Hill reservoirs, as well as work at other reservoirs to be done by MWCD crews.


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, as well as providing popular recreational opportunities that bolster the region’s economy. A significant portion of the reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).


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


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