Dredging Continues at Lake Elkhorn

Two down, one to go.

That’s the big news when it comes to the dredging of Columbia’s three man-made lakes, a project that is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The final lake to be dredged is Lake Elkhorn, in the village of Owen Brown. Work began toward the end of July in the forebay pond at the far northern end of the 37-acre lake, and crews with contractor JND Thomas are scheduled to be finished by December.

The surrounding pathways will still be open while they work, and people can still access the park around the lake. However, the parking lot off of Broken Land Parkway will be closed for the duration of the project.

Dredging is done to maintain the environmental and aesthetic value of the lakes, according to Dennis Mattey, director of construction for Columbia Association (CA). Sediment that has built up at the bottom of the lake can create conditions in which more aquatic vegetation grows, which in turn can have a detrimental effect.

“Restoring the depth to the lake helps to maintain the environmental value of the lake as an aquatic habitat,” Mattey said. “And it looks better, too.”

Approximately 47,000 yards of sediment — which equates to about 3,000 tri-axle dump trucks moving sediment to approved dump sites — was removed from the 27-acre Lake Kittamaqundi, where dredging began in October 2010 and ended in January 2012.

Work at the 22-acre Wilde Lake began in April 2012 and wrapped up in July, with more than 15,000 yards of sediment having been removed.

By David Greisman

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