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Goodrich Dam repairs to begin this week



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August 28, 2013 - Goodrich- The level of the mill pond will be lowered over the next two weeks for repairs to the dam and a culvert opening.

"After Labor Day the water should be low enough to get down in the dam," said Pete Morey, village council member and street administrator. "The project should take a day or two to complete at the dam. Also, we're going to add a valve to the tube that runs east and west to the golf course. Hopefully, that will help with at least a part of the flooding that's been going on."

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued the permit to lower the water in the pond after an inspection in the spring of 2012 when the MDEQ evaluated the century-old village dam and required some significant repairs to the structure. Currently, only three of the five wooden flood or watergates, which move up and down to regulate the amount of water and the level of the mill pond, are operational. Two of the gates remain stationary. The state inspector required the village to remove the two stationary gates and replace with moveable gates.

However, Morey proposed an alternative to the moveable gates.

Morey's concern is that if all five gates are opened, the downriver areas north of the dam could be flooded. Therefore, he suggested to alter the two gates so they can be removed only if necessary.

"The three moveable gates are enough to contend with future rain events," said Morey. "We've had seven-and-a-half and nine inches of rain in two storms. The three gates worked just fine."

Following the approval of the MDEQ, the village DPW will cut about three feet off the top of the two eight foot stationary watergates, which will allow the necessary flow over the dam in the event of a major water event. Those top sections of the watergates can then be put back in place and removed if necessary.

The need, say MDEQ officials, is to allow sufficient water to pass through if heavy rains were to occur. If the dam can be modified to meet the requirement for water flow is the MDEQ concern.

It is essential to be able to remove the stoplogs and lift gates from all five spillway bays in order to safely pass the flood design, MDEQ engineers added.

In addition, within the next five years the village should develop a long-term plan for the future of the dam including a structural analysis for the long-term stability as well as a feasibility study for repair, replacement, or removal of the spillway.

"This summer's repair simply allows more time for a more permanent upgrade to the dam," added Morey. "It will save the the village money and meet the requirements of the MDEQ."

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