Dam fix done well, owner says

Published 8:02 pm Monday, April 12, 2010

After more than 50 years of a private dam along Pruden Boulevard failing, one of the owners thinks the city has found a permanent solution.

“This dam has been a problem for 50 years,” said Billy Cones, one of two owners of a dam in the 2500 block of Pruden Boulevard. “It has washed out, been built back and washed out again.”

The dam failed about two weeks ago, when heavy rain caused water from Sadler Pond to cross over the dam, taking the top section of the dam with it. Water also was moving through the dam. City officials closed a section of Pruden Boulevard for several days, concerned that water could reach and run across the roadway.

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“I think they’ve got it fixed so it won’t wash out any more,” Cones said. “[Public Works director] Eric Nielsen, he’s done a heck of a job.”

The area, originally a swamp, was dammed to create a pond, Cones said.

“The kids used to swim in it,” he added.

Initially, Cones and the other owner had concerns about bald eagle pairs they had spotted in the area, as well as the bass that live in the pond. However, city officials removed a 40-foot section of the dam on April 3 and built up the remainder of the dam with large rocks, which break up the flow of water towards Pruden Boulevard. The water now flows through a culvert that runs under the road, as it should. The lake is now about nine inches lower than it used to be, Cones said, which shouldn’t have any effect on the wildlife in the area.

“I really believe they’ve got it now so it will be here,” Cones said.