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Lake Williams dam begins demolition ahead of construction

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

Demolition of the aging and out-of-compliance dam at Lake Williams began earlier this week and is expected to continue over the next few months.

Kinsley Construction on Monday began removing the bridge, piers and gate structures at the dam, which was first constructed in 1912, according to York Water Co. Chief Operating Officer Mark Wheeler.

That part of the project is expected to be completed early next week, weather permitting.

"We're waiting on the construction permit from DEP," Wheeler said Thursday. "Once we have that, in terms of next steps in the project, we would be demoing the spillway and the remaining bridge structure." 

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The company hopes to obtain the needed permit in the next week, Wheeler said. With that in hand, full demolition is anticipated to take a couple of months, weather permitting.

York Water Co. has said it intends to have a new dam built and in service no later than Nov. 30, 2023.

In anticipation of the demolition and reconstruction, Lake Williams' water has been drawn down.

The lake is nearly emptied of water, and York Water is imploring the public to stay clear of the lakebed for their own safety.

York Water recognizes the project will impact boating and fishing for the next two summer seasons," according to a March news release. "However, it is imperative that the public stay out of the lakebed and other hazardous areas."

Anyone trespassing on private property construction locations can be cited by rangers with the York County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Wheeler said water at Lake Redman, another reservoir nearby, also will be drawn down by approximately 5 feet to buffer it against a significant rain event. 

Recreational activities are still allowed at Lake Redman, Wheeler said.

With the removal of the bridge at Lake Williams, there will no longer be a vehicle route from Water Street to Reynolds Mill Road. Wheeler said the way to go to Reynolds Mill Road is now via George Street.

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The project is expected to be completed by late 2023. 

Signs warn of closed area around Lake Williams in Springfield Township, Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.