Safety rehab begins at Canada’s Springbank Dam

The city of London and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority have begun rehabilitation of Springbank Dam to make the 77-year-old structure conform to modern dam safety requirements.

Work began in late September to repair concrete and replace stoplogs with new flap gates. To be completed in March 2007, the improvements are to enable the dam to manage debris better and to operate safely and efficiently.

Hatch Acres of Niagara Falls, Ontario, a consulting engineering firm, is overseeing the rehabilitation by MacLean Taylor Construction Ltd. of St. Marys, Ontario, which received a contract from the city in August.

Springbank Dam was built in 1929 on the main branch of the Thames River in southwest London to create a local water supply reservoir and to provide recreation. Overtopping of the dam due to debris accumulation during a July 2000 flood raised concerns about the structure’s safety. Subsequent studies recommended the structure be rehabilitated to meet Ontario dam safety requirements.

The city owns the 220-foot-long, 32-foot-tall dam, which the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority manages under contract for recreation, flood protection, and fisheries.

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