BUCKEYE LAKE – Union Township Trustee John Slater said the project to widen a portion of the South Fork of the Licking River to increase its carrying capacity is nearly complete. “From what we’ve seen so far, it’s definitely going to be a benefit to the community,” he said.
Last fall, Union Township and Hebron efforts to extend the project about 200 yards downstream to remove a large log jam were successful. “The lower end has been improved,” said Slater. “That was done early on. We’re very happy with that.”
“For all intents and purposes, the work is complete,” said ODNR spokesman John Wisse. He said the project is a couple months ahead of schedule. “There’s no doubt it’s a vast improvement over the way it was.”
The long delayed project, was to return conditions in the Ohio 79/Ohio 360 area to those existing prior to the construction of the Seller’s Point spillway. The spillway addressed flooding problems along the South Bank but the additional water flowing out of Buckeye Lake into the South Fork of the Licking River aggravated flooding in the Ohio 360/Buckeye Lake Village area where the South Fork loops as it turns north toward Newark.
Approximately 3.3 miles of the South Fork has been widened. Its additional capacity will offset the additional flow over the spillway from Buckeye Lake. Channel widening begins at the Seller’s Point Spillway Outlet and extends north to the Ohio 79 bridge north of I-70. The project includes 295,000 cubic yards of excavation, 92,500 cubic yards of embankment construction, and placement of 13,000 tons of aggregate base course for a maintenance berm.