Repairs needed at Millpond dam - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Repairs needed at Millpond dam

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April 11, 2006

Valdosta - It's one of the best known landmarks in Valdosta.  "It's a beautiful 19-acre lake," said Von Shipman, Engineer.

The Millpond is known for its scenic beauty, but also notorious for structural problems with the dam. "Every time the water rises, it puts additional pressure on the structure," said Shipman.

Once again, heavy rain forced excess water across the dam and caused it to spring several leaks.  "All the water you see coming up is water leaking through," said Shipman.

Luckily, someone noticed the leaks and engineers were able to lower the water level before it caused more damage. The city has called in a consultant.  "They'll evaluate the condition of the structure, and what kind of repairs can be made to make the situation safer," said Shipman.

But the bottom line is, any solution will likely be temporary, and the whole dam needs to be replaced. It's a huge project the city can't afford right now.  "We think it will take three or four million dollars to fix the problem," said Shipman.

But they're counting on money from FEMA to make it happen. "We're expecting to hear back on the grant from them in September," said Shipman.

In the meantime, the problem will once again get a bandaid, and engineers will hope and pray that the dam can stand strong until they're granted that much needed money to make the permanent repairs. 

If the dam was to break, engineers say Jerry Jones Road would act as the dam and prevent any damage to homes around the pond. But some water would likely spill across the road and cause traffic problems.

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