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Dec. 8, 2019
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Knickerbocker Dam project nearing completion

By Pamela A. Keene
 
Coming in under the proposed budget of $1.8 million, the improvements at Knickerbocker Dam are planned to be complete by the end of the year. The dam separates Knickerbocker Lake from Lake Lanier north of Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. The dam was originally built in the early 1950s. 
The City of Gainesville first approved the project in 2015, but it was not permitted by the US Army Corps of Engineers until 2017. The Corps oversees both Knickerbocker Lake and Lake Lanier. Then the project went out for bids, and Griffin Brothers Inc. general contractors of Maysville was selected to complete the work. 
 
“We got the Notice to Proceed in early April of this year, but the lake levels were too high, so we delayed the start until the fall,” said Barclay Fouts, construction and project management section chief with the Gainesville Department of Water Resources.
 
The work began a couple of months ago and included removing trees and roots, re-grading the slopes of the earthen dam, installing rip rap and building new concrete headwalls and slabs. The construction resulted in intermittent lane closures along East Lake Drive. 
 
The original corrugated 24-inch metal pipe has been slip-lined with a plastic pipe to extend its life. 
“The work has made a big difference in the area,” said Chris McGauley, project manager with the Department of Water Resources. “And it has restored the former functionality of the dam. People have told us that they’re glad to see both lakes from the road now. It is certainly an improvement.”

Posted online 11.26.19
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