PICKAWAY – 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 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. Dam safety program manager for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, thinks there’s much chance the state-owned dam at A.W. Marion State Park will fail. 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.
“Visitors will still be able to fish, but access to the shoreline will be limited. Currently closed the bait shop will not reopen this 2021 season, said ODNR,” The Marion state park campground will remain open and picnic areas near the marina will also be open.”
What will close
The parks boat ramp will close due to low water
Visitors are asked to avoid construction areas
Parts of Perimeter trail across the dam will close
Mountain bike trail will be closed
Parking areas near memorial will be closed
Shelter house will be closed.
The project is expected to be completed in later 2022