Reservoir rehab underway

Project expected to be completed by December

JOHNSTOWN — The city Water Board’s Cork Center Reservoir dam rehabilitation project recently got underway, board Vice President George DiMarco said Friday.

“Basically, they started two weeks ago,” he said. “They did a lot of clearing.”

Carver Construction Inc. of the town of Ephratah has an $864,583 agreement with the city to accomplish the rehabilitation project.

Cork Center, a slow sand filtration plant, is the city of Johnstown Water Department’s main reservoir. It is located between Route 29 and Watershed Road in the town of Johnstown. The reservoir dam has accumulated steep grading and there has been consistently poor drainage at the site.

DiMarco said Carver Construction has done initial gravel work and has started installing a drainage system that must go in as part of the project.

He said the entire project is expected to be completed by December.

“We only had estimated by the end of November,” DiMarco said. “It’s a 90-day job.”

The Water Board on June 12 authorized the agreement with Carver Construction. The same agreement was approved by the Common Council on July 17. Engineering for the project has been handled by Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Albany, which the Water Board hired in February.

A rehabilitation project for the 100-year-old Cork Center dam has been a priority with the Water Board. The dam lies about five miles outside the city in the town of Johnstown.

Workers will be sloping the banks back and putting a new building up. Major spillway work is also planned. Engineers have provided the Water Board with reports in recent years showing remediation work is sorely needed to bring the dam in compliance with current state Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines.

DEC found erosion and seepage at the city’s Cork Center Storage Reservoir Dam during an inspection in April 2012. The state report found the dam’s upstream slope is showing evidence of wave erosion. The state also found “sloughing,” or embankment movement, at the dam’s downstream area. Also found was undesirable growth, such as saplings and trees, on the service spillway’s right and left downstream retaining walls.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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