PICKAWAY – Ohio DNR gives updates today on what is going on at our local state park, Hargus Lake. If you have been to A.W. Marion State Park Hargus Lake you would notice that the water is much lower than normal, and this is on purpose.
Last year Ohio ranked one of the highest in the nation (4th) for hazardous dams that needed work. In Ohio, 450 of the state’s 1,420 dams are considered high hazards with the potential for lives and property to be affected if they failed. Of those, state inspectors had rated 124 in a poor or unsatisfactory condition, one of those dams is our own Hargus Dam.
Hargus Lake contains about 1/5th the water of Buckeye lake, but if the Dam failed it would flood a four-mile path straight to Christan University. The dam safety program manager for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources thinks there isn’t much chance the state-owned dam at A.W. Marion State Park would have failed, but It’s listed in poor condition because it needs work to meet today’s standards for slope stability and flood containment.
So in 2021, The ODNR has begun preparing the Dam for rehabilitation and construction, reducing water levels over 50 feet.
The new project will include installing a new spillway and rehabilitating the downstream slope of the dam that was originally constructed in 1947 and reconstructed in 1956. Around 10-15 acres of trees will be cleared for the project.
Today ODNR released a map of what the new dam would look like when it opens in 2022. This will include additional pedestrian trails, a Pedestrian bridge crossing, and a new dam crossing. Below is the outline on the improvement.
What is closed until 2022
The parks boat ramp will close due to low water
Visitors are asked to avoid construction areas
Parts of the Perimeter trail across the dam are closed
The Mountain bike trail will be closed
Parking areas near the memorial will be closed
The shelter house will be closed.
The project is expected to be completed in later 2022
Park Manager Mark Hoffhines updates us as he explains the importance of the construction at Hargus Lake Dam in the video below