MWCD, USACE kick off second phase of work at Dover Dam

November 8, 2011

The $60 million rehabilitation project on Dover Dam in northern Tuscarawas County will protect the benefits of flood reduction and water conservation in the region, preventing the “catastrophic impact” that could occur if the dam failed, according to U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio’s 18th Congressional District.


Gibbs and several other speakers appearing at a groundbreaking ceremony held Monday (Nov. 7) at the 70-year-old dam to kick off Phase II of the Dover Dam Safety Assurance Project, talked about the importance of ensuring the dam will operate effectively in order to protect the safety of residents in the Muskingum River Watershed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) operates the dam and the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD), which manages much of the reservoir areas behind Dover Dam and the other dams in the watershed, is the source of the local cost-share funding for the work.


“The Dover Dam is a very important link in the whole system (of 16 flood-reduction dams and reservoirs),” said Gibbs, R-Lakeville. “You can tell by looking at it that is needs work and needs repairs.”


The recommended plan for rehabilitation of the concrete Dover Dam consists of installing three dozen multi-strand anchors in the spillway section of the dam in holes ranging in size from nine inches to 17 inches in diameter and from lengths ranging from 103 feet to 153 feet to secure sections of the dam to bedrock, along with other improvements. Phase II of the project specifically will include installation of 21 of the anchors, construction of a parapet wall on the right abutment, construction of a sidewalk and new parking lot on the right abutment, installation of precast concrete parapet wall panels on the right abutment and installation of 60 bar anchors in the stilling basin.


The entire project is estimated to cost more than $60 million and the MWCD will invest more than $2 million as its share of the work on the dam located on the Tuscarawas River north of the City of Dover.


Gibbs was joined at the ceremony by State Rep. Al Landis, R-Dover, of the 96th Ohio House District; Col. Robert D. Peterson, commander of the Huntington (WV) District of the USACE; John M. Hoopingarner, executive director/secretary of the MWCD; Glenn Cobb, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR); and Scott Dodds, vice president of Brayman Construction Corp. Brayman recently was awarded a $20.1 million contract from the USACE for the Phase II work.


Hoopingarner told the audience that the partnership between the MWCD and the USACE involves a strong commitment to safety in the sprawling Muskingum River Watershed, which covers about 20 percent of the state and is the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio.


“The MWCD is proud to serve as the local cost-share sponsor for this work to be done to repair this system of dams and to assure their future viability,” Hoopingarner said. “Under the leadership of Col. Peterson and the staff of the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, these projects will address the aging infrastructure and will serve to reinforce the federal and local commitments to these projects.”


The first phase of work on the project began late last year and has continued throughout 2011 and includes $11.9 million worth of upgrades.


“I appreciate the vigilance of both the USACE and the MWCD to watch over our safety at this dam and the other dams,” Landis said. “Groundbreaking is just another step in ensuring this dam will be here for years to come.”


Peterson said that the entire project is expected to be completed in 2015.


“We’re always looking at public safety as our top priority at the USACE,” Peterson said. “Projects like this are important to the livelihoods of the residents of this watershed, to their properties and to the economy.”


Music for the event was provided by the Tuscarawas Valley High School Select Choir under the direction of Megan Sams. Tuscarawas Valley 4th-grade students Chase Burky and Kayla Scott led the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Rev. Dr. Steven R. Bailey of the First United Methodist Church at New Philadelphia presented the invocation. Tuscarawas County Commissioner Kerry Metzger served as master of ceremonies for the event.


Following the formal groundbreaking celebration, the public officials and others in attendance were provided with a tour of the dam by USACE staff members, including a review of the interior gallery of the structure.


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 on Facebook.


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