Aug 30, 2013

Pawlowski's Dam Decision

Mayor Ed Pawlowski is supposed to decide on the fate of the Robin Hood Dam in Lehigh Parkway today, but he's making his decision on incomplete information. The Wildlands Conservancy claims that the dam was built for the USGS creek monitoring tower in 1945, however, there is no documentation to support that statement. On the contrary, there are indications that the dam was probably built in 1941, at the same time as the bridge. The Corp of Engineers established two creek station, the other at S. 10th St. in Fountain Park. That location has no dam, so apparently dams are not necessary to monitor the water. However, it was necessary in 1941 to build temporary dams, called cofferdams, in order to build the Robin Hood Bridge piers. Common sense would indicate that the dam was built at the same time those cofferdams were in place. Why would have the Corp of Engineers built a dam so close to the bridge four years later? This past May, City Engineer Richard Young told Council that the Wildlands had not submitted bridge pier scour studies, nor had any been approved. On Wednesday night, the Wildlands indicated that all approvals were in place. Did they have scour studies done in the meantime, or not, or is Richard Young accepting their statement that the dam was built after the bridge? Wildlands must complete their project before October in order to be in compliance with State regulations. They are exerting pressure on the Administration. If the bridge and dam were built at the same time, the bridge piers were not designed for a deeper channel, which will occur when the dam is removed. Demolishing a significant feature of Lehigh Parkway should not be done lightly, to accommodate an outside organization's timetable.


Guy Williams said...

I would just like to remind the wildlands supporters that there were also engineers and studies backing the relocation of S&S mounument from 7th and Hamilton. I understand their position but just feel the majority of park goes want the dam to remain and riparian zones to go. Also am waiting to find out the stances of council members on this issue.

michael molovinsky said...

guy@12:02, there is no doubt that the public would prefer the dam to stay and the riparian zones to go. the paper received a lot of feedback on my editorial against the riparian buffers. the buffers can be corrected with a lawn mower, but the dam cannot be replaced. according to randy kraft of wfmz69, peter schweyer favors the dam's removal. cynthia mota and ray o'connel declined to comment. they comprise the park and recreation committee.

Anonymous said...

The orange traffic barriers remain at the park entrance.
For a year the situation represented a major safty concern based on engineering studies. One year later -- no problem.

Hundreds swim every warn weekend at Robinhood --no problem. Now a major safty concern.

The gang that couldn't shoot straight!

LVCI said...

Pawlowski Tells Wildlands to Proceed
Mike Moore posted on 8/30/2013 2:42:00 PM