Repairs Finished at Oak Grove Lake -

Repairs Finished at Oak Grove Lake

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Greenville County crews have finished repairs at Oak Grove Lake. Greenville County crews have finished repairs at Oak Grove Lake.

Greenville County crews have finished repairs at Oak Grove Lake, more than a year after a busted pipe completely drained it of water.

People who live nearby were upset the lake sat empty for so long, saying they moved there, in part, to look and live near the lake.

"We've been here about ten years and the lake was an asset to coming here. Hopefully they can get it fixed to where it'd be an asset for future," said resident Don Nelson.

Now that repair work is done, county officials say it's only a matter of time before the lake refills. The recent rains should help speed up that process. Once the lake is full of water, the Greenville County Rec District will start to re-fill the lake with fish.

They also want to start putting together a recreational plan. You can stay updated on those plans and the continuing progress at Oak Grove Lake on the Recreation District's website. They've posted a timeline of events that you can see listed below, and say future updates will be continue to be posted until the dam is functioning and the park is re-opened.

Oak Grove Lake Dam Status:

April 12, 2012 - Around 2:30 pm Greenville County and Greenville County Recreation District receives calls reporting low water levels at Oak Grove Lake Park. County, State and Rec District officials arrive on-site to assess the situation. There is a wide whirlpool between the vertical standpipe and the earthen dam. Water is observed leaving the lake through the spillway at full capacity. Some erosion of earthen dam occurs as well as sloughing of the northernmost island. By 8:30 pm the lake had completely drained.

April 13, 2012 - SC DHEC reviews the process of dam re-construction with Greenville Rec and provides the permitting process to rebuild the dam and refill the lake.

April 18, 2012 - Greenville Rec engages CCAD Engineering to study the problem and prepare plans, specifications, and permit applications. With recommendations from Greenville Rec and Greenville County, several additions and improvements are suggested to make the most of this re-construction opportunity. Fishing habitat improvements, a land bridge peninsula to the northernmost island, and the development of an underwater Emergency Dive Training center were opportunities that CCAD was asked to consider in construction plans.

May 4, 2012 - Greenville Rec hires Terracon to test the soil in the dam around the pipe and the soil under the lake for use in repairing the dam. Testing reveals that, to the best of our knowledge, the core of the dam remains solid. The appropriate fix, agreed on by all groups involved, was determined to be "slip-lining" the entire 6 foot corrugated metal pipe with a slightly smaller High Density Polyethlene (HPDE) pipe and grouting the annular space between the pipes to stabilize the entire pipe system. The HDPE pipe, although smaller, will carry the same flow since it is smooth.

May 13, 2012 - Greenville Rec issues a notice to pre-qualify construction contractors to bid for the dam repair. Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for construction services advertised.

May 18, 2012 - Greenville Rec, Greenville County Public Works and CCAD Engineering met to review the design plans and discuss details of land modification and recreational amenities to the park.

June 13-21, 2012 - Greenville Rec and CCAD Engineering developed an Emergency Action Plan for Oak Grove Lake Dam.

June 21, 2012 - Greenville Rec, Greenville County Public Works and CCAD Engineering meet to review final design plans. Some changes and clarifications are made to the parking area and peninsula additions.

April - July 2012 - Three agencies have permitting authority for reviewing the certain aspects of the project - S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control's Dam Safety Section is reviewing the repair plans, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing the work in the "waters of the U.S.", and Greenville County Land Development Division is assuring that water quality and proper erosion control measures are in place. Greenville Rec and CCAD work on submitting the following applications and permits:

•SCDHEC application to Construct or Alter a Dam

•Joint Federal and State Application Form for Activities Affecting Water of the United States or Critical Areas in the State of South Carolina

•SCDOT Encroachment Permit

•Greenville County Land Development Division Approval

July 6, 2012 - All necessary permit applications to DHEC, Corps of Engineers, and Greenville County have been submitted.

July 10, 2012 - Pre-Bid meeting scheduled to discuss the repair project and inform the construction contractors of the scope of the project so they can prepare their project bids. There was an inquiry about standing water in the lake attracting excessive numbers of mosquitoes to the area. Mosquito breeding habits are generally limited to standing water in shady areas. The standing water in the lake is in a very sunny area and should not affect mosquito populations of the surrounding areas.

July 31, 2012 - Request for Qualifications bids due. 17 contractors inquired about the RFQ and were sent original plans for the project. Greenville Rec received 5 qualification respondents. All respondents were qualified for the work and plan to submit bids. All day rainstorm hits the area on Tuesday.

August 7, 2012 - Qualified Project Bids due. Bids will be reviewed by a committee made up of Greenville Rec, County Public Works and local experts. All permits are still pending, except for the Army Corp. of Engineers permit that has been approved.

August 17, 2012 - Greenville Rec has pre-qualified and received bids from 5 bidders. Bids received range from $229,300 to $495,000. In addition, engineering and construction management costs are $47,000 and environmental testing costs $25,000. The actual funding available for dam repair is $200,000. Due to the project coming in well in excess of the available funding, Greenville Rec, CCAD, and Terracon are exploring alternative solutions to complete the project within the available budget. One option being explored is to cut through the road from the top down and remove the pipe completely, as opposed to the original slip-lining plan.

September 4, 2012 - Greenville Rec's Northern Maintenance crew is evaluating a regular maintenance plan for the park while the lake is empty. This measure is to ensure the park is still accessible and enjoyable for walkers and park goers while the dam is under construction.

October 8, 2012 - The original plan of "slip-lining" the existing corrugated pipe with a 66″ smooth pipe has some potentially costly unknown variables that have caused the need for evaluation of another option With the "slip-lining" option there are voids around the existing corrugated pipe that would have to be filled first using a specialized pressure grout. Because these voids are around the pipe, mostly below the pipe, it is extremely difficult to ascertain the total volume of the voids. The grout work would cost $99 per cubic foot so the cost could quickly escalate and there is a possibility that air pockets could be created during the process and thus unstable isolated voids could remain. Because of this potentially costly unknown we started exploring another option on August 8, 2012 that involves removing the section of the dam above the existing pipe all the way down to below the existing pipe and build it back up. This would allow all the voids to be filled through compaction instead of grouting. This option would require that the new pipe(s) be able to handle 2 1/2 times the 100-year flood or 6″ of rain an hour. This over abundant capacity requirement is to ensure against a catastrophic dam failure. Another way to ensure against a catastrophic dam failure is through a Dam Break Analysis Report to evaluate if current structural conditions of the dam could withstand the pressure of a 6″ per hour rain event. We have engaged a company to do that report because the $20k cost of the report is worth pursuing. This report is expected to take 3 weeks to prepare. We are working with SC DHEC to get permits to complete the dam repair. As we continue to make determinations of the best option to pursue (currently we believe that the latter option is the most preferred) we have been working to secure funding. As of this date we believe we have enough funding to complete the preferred option.

November 8, 2012 - Greenville Rec continues to work with DHEC to explore the variables in completing the dam project. The Dam Breach Analysis Report has been completed and is being reviewed to determine the best course of action.

November 13, 2012 - Thanks to Greenville County, Greenville Rec has come up with the final funding piece to hire a contractor and begin construction at Oak Grove Lake Park. RCS Grading Inc. has been selected to complete the project and they intend to finish by the end of December.

November 29th, 2012 - The final plans for the re-construction of the dam are being finalized and RCS Grading plans to begin mobilizing their equipment on-site tomorrow. Construction will begin December 3rd and take approximately two to three weeks.

December 15th, 2012 - Construction is underway on the new dam piping.

January 6th, 2013 - Ideal weather conditions for this type of construction process have not been present over the past few weeks. Periodically, RCS Grading will remove their equipment from the site based on the weather and temporarily suspend operations according. The project is still ongoing and construction will take place whenever the weather is suitable.

March 18th, 2013 - The wet winter weather continues to hinder a steady construction schedule at Oak Gove Lake. The soil remains too wet at the bottom of the dam area to pursue construction. Working with wet soils is hazardous to the overall, lasting safety of the dam and it is important to hold off on construction until soil tests confirm a positive work environment. It is our hope that spring will bring warmer, dryer weather to allow for construction to be complete.

March 23rd, 2013 - Joe Barron - project civil engineer and Ty Houck - Director of Greenways, Natural, & Historic Resources, co-author an article for the Greenville Journal explaining the situation at Oak Grove Lake.

April 16th, 2013 - With Spring weather moving in and wet weather moving out conditions are coming together to resume construction on the dam. Samples of dirt were taken by Terracon to test current moisture content. The soil is still too wet to resume but measures are being taken to expedite the process and warmer weather will naturally help. RCS Grading is repairing damaged silt fence in preparation to continue the dam construction. The results of further soil samples and the weather forecast will determine how soon construction can begin. See our Repair Timeline and Photos on the next tab.

June 24th, 2013 - RCS has rebuilt the dam back to appointed guidelines with culvert pipe and valves installed. Final grading and re-seeding is underway. The concrete apron installation and final paving will follow. After that a guardrail installation and DOT inspection is required. The section of road over the dam will remains closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

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