Aug. 9, 2004
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UPPER CLEMSON DIKE PARTIALLY OPEN DURING HOME GAMES SAVANNAH, Ga., – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, will allow limited access for boat docking and pedestrian traffic over the diversion dams along the Seneca River Portion of Hartwell Lake that borders Clemson University during home football games during the 2004 season. The area will otherwise be closed to the public throughout the current upgrade to the dams.
In past years some football fans have anchored boats along the lakeside of the earth embankment and on a small beach area at the uppermost dam and walked over the embankment to the nearby Death Valley/Memorial Stadium. Due to safety concerns during the reconstruction, Corps officials will restrict pedestrian access only to the upstream end of the northern dam throughout the 2004 football season.
The Corps relocated and added fencing at the upper dam to provide pedestrian access around the construction zone for home football games. The Corps and Clemson University also added two pedestrian gates, one gate on top of the dam and one gate located on the Clemson University side of the dam near the end of the asphalt road near the “Downtown Community Fellowship Church.” These gates will be unlocked three hours before the home football games and relocked two hours after the end of the game. Pickens County Sheriff’s Department will provide three officers on the upper dam to provide directions and construction site security. Clemson University will also provide additional security officers at the two pedestrian gates. The dams will remain closed to jogging, walking and other recreation during the reconstruction project but will be reopened when the project is complete in 2005.
“Clemson University greatly appreciates the extra effort that the Corps and Ratio, Inc. is making to provide access to Clemson football games for fans arriving by boat” said Dr. Stassen Thompson, Director of Land Management for Clemson University. “This is not something they had to do but chose to do and we thank both the Corps and Ratio, Inc.”
The two diversion dams are being strengthened to withstand earthquakes that could cause them to fail, threatening life, and causing significant physical and economic damage to the university and the region. When the dams were designed more than 40 years ago, seismic considerations were not required.
The dams were built in the 1960s to protect 390 acres of Clemson University property from inundation when Hartwell Lake was created. Using state-of-the-art techniques, the Corps’ contractor, Raito, Inc., mixes cement with existing soil deep inside and in the foundations of the earthen dams. They will also install an internal drainage system in each dam to collect and safely remove seepage water. The $7.7 million project began in December 2003 and is scheduled to be complete by May 2005. Planning for the project began in the 1980s. Under the current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dam Safety Assurance Program these dams require this upgrade.
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