Digging out the lake continues in freezing temperatures

“The construction crew was eagerly awaiting this deep freeze,” said John Brosz of Brosz Engineering, the firm spearheading the lake project.

By Angel Wyrwas

“The construction crew was eagerly awaiting this deep freeze,” said John Brosz of Brosz Engineering, the firm spearheading the lake project. “It makes it easier for their equipment to get around the lake when the mud is frozen.” Work excavating the lake was not halted this week as temperatures plummeted well below zero degrees.

Subcontractor Wyrick Construction only began work on the lake in October and 215,000 cubic feet of dirt has already been removed from the lake. Ninety percent of the bigger debris left in the wake of last year’s tornado has been removed as well. That dirt is still currently being sifted to separate the trash particles.

Steam surrounds the construction equipment as the crew moves dirt that is warmer than the subzero air temperature.

Residents may have noticed some material being dug from one area of the lake only to be deposited in another area. Construction crews are using portions of dredging material to build haul roads throughout the lake. All soil is not created equal.

“There is varied material throughout the lake including topsoil, clay and sandy sediment,” said Brosz. “Some of the material is native soil and some has been washed in over the years. Though we haven’t done any soil borings, we expect that at the bottom of our digging most of the soil will be clay in nature.”

Crews dredge material from different areas as the soil allows. The end result however is not supposed to resemble a bowl with smooth sides gradually meeting at the deep bottom. The terrain of the lake bottom will be as varied as if nature created it. “The sides will be more gradual from the shoreline,” said Brosz. “but some areas will be more shallow and there will be a  long oval style depression in the deepest middle area of the lake. Fish and Game says this will be the best environment for fish.”

An excavator on the lake project has dug so far down that only its arm is sticking out of the lakebed.

The north end of the lake will continue to be the deepest though crews will go out a fair amount of distance from the highway dam before dredging that section. “There are wetlands near the dam that cannot be disturbed and it is important to maintain the integrity of the dam,” said Brosz.

While crews work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. they spend many evening hours in the dark during this winter season. As the lake project proceeds it continues to be a source of entertainment for many in the community watching the equipment zip back and forth with their giant loads of dirt.

      



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