Pennsylvania DCNR to Begin Design for Dam at Ryerson

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Pennsylvania DCNR to Begin Design for Dam at Ryerson Station State Park in Greene County

11/21/07

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis today announced work is beginning to design a new dam to restore and improve the 62-acre lake at Ryerson Station State Park in Greene County.

Duke Lake, formed by the dam, was drawn down in July 2005 for safety reasons, after joint inspections by DCNR and the Department of Environmental Protection uncovered cracks in the concrete and water seepage. In August 2005, a portion of the dam spillway was removed to prevent the reservoir from refilling from heavy rain and runoff.

"Duke Lake is the focal point of Ryerson Station State Park and an important source of recreational opportunities in Greene and surrounding counties," DiBerardinis said. "A very thorough investigation into what caused the damage has ruled out natural causes for the problem, and has led us to determine that we can rebuild the dam. That's what we intend to do."

"We've learned a lot since the dam was originally built in 1960 across the Dunkard Ford of Wheeling Creek, and we know we can not only restore the dam, but actually improve the recreational opportunities at the park through this process," DiBerardinis said.

DiBerardinis added that design of the structure is expected to take at least 18 months, with an additional minimum of 18 months for construction of the dam.

Since the lake draw-down, DCNR has improved trails in the park, increased educational programming, and extended the hours at the park swimming pool to offer alternative recreational opportunities.

The 1,164-acre Ryerson Station State Park, opened in 1967, is in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania near the West Virginia border.

Media Contact:
Christina Novak (717) 772-9101
 


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