Hope Mills Lake repairs will take years

Hope Mills Lake (Photo Jeff Hinkle/WTVD)

October 21, 2010 3:14:28 AM PDT
Residents in Hope Mills got some news they did not want to hear Wednesday about what they consider to be the centerpiece of the town.An engineer told town leaders that repairing the dam and restoring the lake could be a long drawn out effort.

Engineers say they are focused on a plan to stabilize the $14 million dam so repairs can begin.

"To stabilize the structure for the next three to five years, which would then allow the town to evaluate the next steps in the options of restoring the dam," said an engineer during Wednesday night's meeting.

The town's 88 acre lake drained on June 17 after engineers say a vinyl liner ruptured allowing gushing water to undermine the structure.

Four months later, engineers still don't know what caused the breech.

However, the stabilization plan would remove part of the dam wall and redirect the water through the opening, allowing engineers to get underneath and inspect the washed out section.

They say then they could talk about what to do next.

"Well I am glad we are moving towards the completion of the stabilization still kind of disappointed it took four months to get to this point," resident Michael Mitchell said.

Town leaders say so far the company that designed the dam and the company that built it are paying for the repairs.

The mayor says he does not foresee taxpayers having to pay for the repair or restoration of the dam.

"I don't think that is going to happen ... we are going to make sure that we will do what we have to do make sure its restored," Mayor Eddie Deese said.

In the meantime, engineers say their plans are best case scenario. They say it could be anywhere from two to five years before the dam is repaired or replaced and the lake comes back.

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