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Phase II startup for dam project is still stalled



BUCKEYE LAKE – In two more weeks it will be a year since any significant construction work has been done on the Buckeye Lake dam.

Phase 1, which included construction of the 30-35 foot wide stability berm and the two-foot wide, 40-some feet deep soil-mixed seepage barrier, was substantially completed by May 25.

To date, there have been no signs of mobilization for Phase II. Four soil mixing rigs are to mix 300 cubic yards each per 12 hour shift to construct the approximately 10 foot wide and 26 to 40 foot deep buttress wall that will be built behind the seepage barrier. The wall will be 20,129 feet long and require 125,000 cubic yards of soil-mixed material.

Once the 200 foot long test section is installed and tested, it will take 21 weeks with each of the four soil-mixing rigs operating at the 300 cubic yard per day rate to finish the buttress wall.

The only activity on the dam in the past two weeks has been some weed and grass cutting. Weeds on the lake side of the fence were knee to waist high, making the area look even more like an abandoned construction project.

The State Controlling Board released funds March 13, 2017 totalling nearly $25 million for Phase II work. ASI Constructors, Inc. will continue to serve as the Construction Manager at Risk. More than $17 million is earmarked for the soil-mixed buttress wall.

ASI’s contract for Phase II includes an extensive schedule listing early and late start dates and early and late finish dates. According to the schedule, the project is about 40 working days or eight weeks behind schedule.

Here are some key dates:

• Notice to Proceed – official notice to subcontractors to begin mobilization of equipment: Early/ Late Start – March 24;

• Finish mobilization for soil-mixing: Early/Late Finish – March 30;

• Finish Soil Mix Test Section: Early/Late Finish – April 24; and

• Muck Displacement or Pushout from Lieb’s Island to Seller’s Point Spillway: Early Start – April 4; Late Start – May 10 and Early Finish – May 1 and Late Finish – June 7.

Two weeks ago, The Beacon asked project spokesman Ian Nickey about the slow startup and some rumors that could possibly be responsible for the delay. He ignored our specific questions and didn’t address the rumors. His two sentence answer was:

“Thanks for reaching out. ODNR is currently working through contracting, once complete subcontractors will be selected.”

We followed up with him on Monday. This time he didn’t respond at all.



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