Dam repair on Geyser Creek at Spa State Park
March 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm by Leigh Hornbeck
Work underway at the Spa State Park will replace much of the dam across Geyser Creek.
Geyser Creek dam, circa 1920 There is still a culvert (top of photo) that brings the stream under Route 50. Photos provided by Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
If you, like me, drive along Route 50 south of the city regularly, you have noticed the work going on next to the south corner of 50 and Avenue of the Pines. I talked to Kurt Kress, the capital facilities manager at the Saratoga Spa State Park, and he told me about the project.
Alpine Construction of Schuylerville, hired by the state after a competitive bidding process, is in the midst of a $676,000 job to repair the 90-year-old dam across Geyser Creek. The dam was originally built to power a long gone mill, the water held back in the creek is now used to irrigate the two golf courses at the state park.
Work began in October. The workers are rebuilding the east abutment, replacing stone masonry with reinforced concrete down to the bedrock. In all, the new abutment is about 25 feet high, from the bedrock to the top. The workers are also anchoring the spillway to the bedrock with rods and re-grouted the spillway. All the work will meet current safety codes written by the state Department of Conservation.
The improvements to the dam will ensure a more reliable water source for the golf course operators in dry seasons, Kress said.
Work is scheduled to be done by May 15. The project is slightly behind schedule because the workers were surprised to find the bottom of the original dam was not flush with bedrock, but sitting about six feet above it.
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