$15M Hueston Woods dam repairs to finish this year

A damaged dam at Hueston Woods State Park will be repaired by the end of this year.

State taxpayers have spent more than $15 million on a two-year project that worked to stop a series of small leaks at the state park’s Acton Lake.

Crews began construction on the lake last year and started adding more than 50,000 tons of aggregate rock and other materials to the dam and reconstruct its cracked spillway. The 1,100-foot long and 62-foot high dam was first constructed in 1956, creating the 625-acre man-made lake. The park features lodging, hiking trails, boating and fishing.

Lake levels have not been impacted during the work, state officials said. In 2013, 1.6 million people stopped by for a visit to Hueston Woods, located at 6301 Park Office Road in College Corner.

The state owns 116 dams and has been working to upgrade those structures at lakes throughout Ohio, said Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman Eric Heis.

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“A lot of these lakes are man-made from decades ago, there are issues and we’re working to fix those,” Heis said.

Earlier this month, for example, state officials announced plans to redesign Buckeye Lake in Columbus. Although updated cost estimates haven’t been released, estimates in months past have priced the project at $150 million. Officials announced this month they expect the price tag to be lower, however.

The two-year project is on schedule to be completed by the end of this year, but it’s a little over budget.

Earlier this week, state officials requested an additional $500,000 for the project because more concrete work is needed to repair the dam, said Jeremy Wenner, an engineer for the state.

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