Lake Conestee Dam Restoration Project enters next stage, equipment now on site

Construction equipment has arrived on the site of the Conestee Dam, as work to repair the 130-year-old dam moves forward
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 12:01 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Work to prevent the 130-year-old Conestee Dam, which is decades past its lifespan, from breaking and causing a major environmental disaster continues.

After months of surveying, budget negotiations, and hiring, construction equipment was brought to the site for the first time on Tuesday.

“It’s very exciting,” said Lake Conestee Dam Restoration Project Trustee Kelly Lowry.

The project is getting set to start a Geo-Technical investigation for the new dam that is planned for several feet downstream from the existing one.

“It’s primarily to determine that the location we have chosen, just looking at the topography of the site and the location of the existing dam, is correct,” explained Lowry.

Starting next week, crews will drill holes into the river and spend a few weeks collecting different data points.

“Then we plug those calculations into the existing plans and begin to refine it just a little bit more. All of this is in preparation for putting out the request for qualifications and request for proposals to the general contracting firms who want to actually build the dam,” said Lowry.

The goal is to keep millions of cubic yards of sediment, much of which is contaminated, away from places like Lake Greenwood, where Ralph Cushing lives.

“We’re excited to see that things are happening already actually, you can go there and see the beginning of the process,” he said.

The project has a $47.5 million budget, much of which comes from the South Carolina state budget, and is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2026.

“Being on time with this project and being under budget on this project are critical,” said Lowry.

To stay up to date with the project, click here.