MWCD selects firm for shoreline work, eyes Atwood project

November 25, 2013

A New Philadelphia company has been awarded contracts to complete a total of 11 shoreline stabilization projects during the upcoming winter at Charles Mill and Seneca lakes, while an estimated $1.4 million worth of shoreline work at Atwood Lake is being proposed to begin in two years.

Members of the Board of Directors of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) approved two contracts for Tucson Inc. of New Philadelphia on its low bids for the projects at Charles Mill Lake near Mansfield in Ashland and Richland counties, and Seneca Lake located south of Cambridge in Guernsey and Noble counties. Tucson bid $236,648 for the six projects scheduled to be completed this winter at Charles Mill Lake, and $259,130 for the five projects planned at Seneca Lake. A total of seven companies submitted bids for the projects.

MWCD officials said they were pleased with the bids from Tucson, which actually were less than the estimates for the work at both lakes. The projects at Charles Mill Lake carried an engineer’s estimate of $350,000 and the projects at Seneca were estimated to cost $300,000.

“Each year there has been increased interest in these projects that have had a very visible and positive impact on the overall condition of the shorelines at the lakes,” said Boris E. Slogar MWCD chief engineer. “We are pleased that the upgrades are now part of the routine maintenance to ensure the effective performance of the MWCD reservoirs to protect people and property from flooding, in partnership with the Huntington (WV) District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the dams in this system of reservoirs and dams.”

The time period between November and March of each year when the water levels at the MWCD lakes ar reduced in the routine winter “drawdown” also provides the opportunity to correct badly eroded shorelines.

The work is paid for through the MWCD’s funds collected from owners of properties in the Muskingum River Watershed that 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.

The conservancy district also has taken steps to address an estimated 2,500 feet of needed shoreline stabilization work at two separate locations at Atwood Lake during the winter of 2015-16. The projects, estimated to cost $1.4 million, are located near Atwood Lake Park behind the park amphitheater in Carroll County and along the Atwood Glens Cottage Area in Carroll and Tuscarawas counties.

A combination of erosion control materials, bioengineering elements and filter strip plantings would be utilized, resulting in improved water quality upon completion of the project, Slogar said.

Over the past three years, the MWCD has completed nearly 70 shoreline projects at a cost of $3.6 million and leading to the improvement of nearly 4.5 miles of shoreline. The MWCD has identified nearly 500 shoreline projects that need to be addressed as part of this routine maintenance program to ensure the continued effective performance of the reservoirs for flood reduction and water conservation benefits.

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 an estimated $10.7 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).

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