With culvert installed, road expected to reopen soonOctober 1, 2019
By CANDY NEAL
HUNTINGBURG — County Road 100 West should reopen to traffic by the end of October, officials anticipate.
The road, which serves as the dam to the Huntingburg Conservation Club Lake, has been closed since spring 2017.
“I’m hoping that before November comes around, we’re driving on that road,” County Engineer Brent Wendholt said.
The road closed after heavy rains hit the area in late April and early May 2017 and exposed a problem with the dam’s drainage. Because there was too much rain for the dam to handle, the water washed away some of the bank around the dam beneath the road. For safety reasons, the lake and the section of County Road 100 West that includes the dam were closed indefinitely until repairs could be made. The lake level was also lowered.
After a series of talks with the club, the county and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, DNR determined that lowering the lake should be part of the solution. Lowering the level will take the lake from a depth of 24 feet to 19.6 feet. The lake’s size will shrink from 12 acres to about 10 acres. Lowering the lake will remove it from DNR’s jurisdiction, since it would be under 20 feet in depth.
To fix the problem, the conservation club agreed to install a new culvert, and the county agreed to do the work to lower the road and dam.
The club had the culvert installed last week. “They started last Monday and got done on Friday,” said conservation club President Bernie Main said. “The county was notified Friday.”
Now that the culvert is in, county crews will start working this week on lowering the road, which is also the dam.
“The road is going down five feet at its lowest spot,” Wendholt said. “And we’ll take all that dirt that we take off the top, and put it on the back side of the dam and fix the hole and strengthen the dam.”
County crews will then reconstruct County Road 100 West. That work should take about three weeks, barring inclement weather, Wendholt said.
Nature will take care of the lake water. “The water level is already down,” he said. “When we get done, the lake can naturally fill itself back up.”
Between now and spring, the club is looking to do some improvements on its property, including the clubhouse and the campgrounds, Main said.
“We’re going in the right direction,” he said.
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