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DCNR Announces Delayed Dam Repairs at Shikellamy State Park

11/19/2021

Harrisburg, PA -- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced that repairs to the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam on the Susquehanna River will be postponed until 2022.

High water levels and worsening seasonal conditions are preventing replacement of one of the seven dam bags that comprise the 8-foot-tall, 2,100-foot-long dam. The bonding agents and materials used in the replacement of the dam bags require warmer temperatures to cure properly for successful installation.

“Unfortunately, multiple conditions have made it impossible to repair the dam this year and we will continue to assess the situation on the Susquehanna River,” Dunn said. “DCNR is aware this project news is disappointing to our many park visitors and boaters. It is the department’s commitment to complete the remaining work and resume normal operations as quickly and safely as is possible,” Dunn said.

The dam collects the water that creates Lake Augusta at Shikellamy State Park during the boating season. The repair project began in late August 2021 and was on schedule for completion 2021 until river conditions required the work stoppage.

Prior to the work stoppage, crews were able to remove the damaged bag and discovered multiple wear spots, abrasions, and long gashes in the bag that required the repairs. DCNR recently made the final decision to delay work until 2022 to protect the safety of its workers and to avoid further damage to the dam.

The dam will not be able to operate without installing the new bag, resulting in the lake remaining at its winter levels until the repairs can be made. Additionally, the marina and boat ramp docks cannot be installed without the dam functioning normally.

Tropical storms Henri and Ida contributed to higher than normal levels water levels on the Susquehanna River. Subsequent flooding delayed the start of the repairs and have made it unsafe to complete the work this fall. DCNR will provide detailed update on the situation through a webinar at a later date, as well as an update construction schedule will be provided to the public when further assessments can be made.

Work is projected to resume in 2022 when river levels are lower and weather conditions are more favorable, with July being the likely timeframe. If site and weather conditions permit work, the dam bag can be installed earlier than anticipated.

MEDIA CONTACTWesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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