Rehab work begins on Marion dam

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Major rehabilitation work began Monday at Marion Reservoir and will last through September, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District.

Maintenance will be performed on the dam’s nine stop logs and the 40-foot-by-40-foot, 55-ton flood control tainter gates.

“It’s vital that our critical infrastructure be maintained, and we’re very pleased to see the work taking place,” said Terry Holt, park ranger.

On Monday, a 70-ton crane hoisted nine stop logs, each weighing seven tons, onto trucks that hauled them to the south end of the dam to be rehabilitated.

“They’ll be sandblasted, sanded and painted with a special vinyl paint as well as having their rubber seals replaced,” Holt said. “The goal of the project is to prevent erosion on the gates.”

When all nine stop logs have been rehabilitated, they’ll be set in place on the outer flood control gates to temporarily block off water while workers do similar maintenance work on the tainter gates.

“Currently, we’ve been funded to work on the two outside tainter gates at a total cost of around $517,000,” Holt said. “We’re optimistic we’ll be funded for the middle gate as well.”

Holt said the maintenance is necessary “to ensure the project operates as designed.”

Dam infrastructure is inspected every year, according to Holt, and undergoes a more thorough inspection every five years.

Throughout the 90-100 day period, the road crossing the dam will either be open to traffic or limited to just one lane. But for 10 to 12 days, the road will be closed while cranes hoist their loads.

Traffic will be directed to a route east of the Corps office on 210th because the Corps’ project coincides with the replacement of a river bridge below the dam on Pawnee Road.

“I want to make sure our visitors, area farmers and Eastshore Development residents know what to expect,” Holt said.

Marion Reservoir won’t suffer any adverse effects for tourism, Holt said, and will be open as usual over the Memorial Day weekend.

For more information on either the rehabilitation project or detour information, contact Marion Reservoir at 620-382-3840.

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