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Tucker City Council approves contract for design of dam renovation

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Tucker City Council approves contract for design of dam renovation

Tucker City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — The Tucker City Council, at its Feb. 12 regular meeting, approved a contract with AECOM to do the design for the renovation of Lake Erin Dam at Henderson Park.

The cost of the contract is $388,542. The scope of work includes engineering, design, preparing construction documents, permitting, construction phasing and project management.

The dam was built in 1955 and is a Category 1 dam according to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s Safe Dams Program. The dam is in poor condition, City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt said.

“In 2020, they sent a notice of violation to DeKalb County, but we’ve seen inspection reports dating back to 2010 showing deficiencies in this dam that have not been tended to,” Hildebrandt said.

He added that there’s overgrown vegetation on the dam, which gets into the dam and compromises its structural integrity. The spillway is also not able to handle large storm events.

“You have an outlet structured device but in a heavy, heavy rain the spillway is supposed to discharge all the water, but the spillway is inadequate to handle a 100-year storm event so what would in theory happen is it would overload the spillway and the water would go over top of the dam and could compromise the dam itself,” Hildebrandt said.

AECOM has determined the lake needs to be drained to install a valve to be able to control the level of the lake and install a new outlet structure and spillway. With the new design, the spillway will likely be a large pipe underneath the dam and won’t be an open spillway, Hildebrandt said.

“In doing this, most of the dam will be replaced,” he said. “While we’re there, while we’re tearing everything up, we want to install a 10-foot wide trail on top of the dam because that’s in compliance with our trail master plan.”

The segment of the trail would be installed and connected to other trails at a later time. Council Member Cara Schroeder encouraged the city to look at the pros and cons of having a paved trail through Henderson Park and encouraged the city to talk to neighbors.

“I don’t want this to be a surprise after we’ve had all those discussions in prior years,” Schroeder said. “I know the plan was to have that paved so it could drop around…to the other side of the park there where the soccer fields are for maintenance. I understand all that [and] that that’s been planned out, but we just need to have a bigger discussion about that.”

The city hopes to award a construction contract by the end of the year. Tucker is planning to use American Rescue Plan funding for the project, and ARPA funds must be obligated by the end of the year and fully spent by the end of 2026.

In other business, the city council amended the contract with Barge Design Solutions for the contractor to also take on construction administration for the Town Green project and build an additional sidewalk along Railroad Avenue connecting to Main Street. The amendment adds $177,600 to the contract.

Barge Design Solutions is working with the city to complete the construction document and bid phase of the Town Green development. The initial contract amount was $492,000.

The park will be sited on Railroad Avenue on property that the city bought from the Cofer family in September 2022. Plans for the Town Green include a spectator lawn, a pavilion and stage area, a picnic area, angled parking along Railroad Avenue, a dining plaza, and various sidewalks, according to a rendering of the final design from November 2022.

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