The Ice Lakes dam repair project, which has been discussed for nearly three years, is finally about to begin.
Rice Township Engineer Andy Pasonick expects work to begin in late November and finish in late January.
The township will advertise bids for the project on Oct. 11 and 16, and supervisors will open bids on Nov. 6 and award a bid at their Nov. 8 meeting, Pasonick said.
Bids will be solicited for partially draining the lake to investigate the current conditions of the dam. Then the contractors will use the results of the investigation to do one of two things: either bore a new hole through the dam or repair the sluice gate that already exists. Pasonick said that because the dam was built around 1910, no documents have been preserved to detail the location and operation of the current sluice gate. Contractors will be flying blind until they do their investigation.
In either case, the goal is to bring the dam into compliance with Department of Environmental Protection standards that mandate a means of draining the lake in the event of an emergency.
Another project that is about to begin in the township is the paving of Nuangola Avenue, which should start this week or next, supervisors announced. At a special meeting Sept. 21, they hired American Asphalt of Shavertown to complete the paving by Oct. 31 for $45,915. Pasonick said the project should take about three days.
Supervisors also announced that the state Department of Transportation is tentatively planning to begin demolition of the Church Road bridge in mid-April. Henry Drive and Church Road will be closed and traffic detoured along Stairville and Blytheburn roads for about two months. The elevation of Henry Drive will be lowered, and there will be a four-way stop sign at the Henry Drive/Church Road intersection, chair Marcia Thomas explained.
Police Chief Bob Franks said the two-month closure and detour