Lake Peachtree begins to drain again for spillway work

Lake Peachtree’s northern end, looking toward the Ga. Highway 54 bridge. Photo/Ben Nelms.

The lowering of Lake Peachtree that signals the upcoming work to replace the spillway has begun.

The first phase of the replacement spillway and dam project, the construction of a cofferdam to keep the spillway construction zone dry, requires Lake Peachtree to be lowered by a total of eight feet. This will expose the lake bed in the area closest to Ga. Highway 54, though there will be some water remaining in the southern half of the lake.

Above, Lake Peachtree’s northern end, looking toward the Ga. Highway 54 bridge. Photo/Ben Nelms.

Lake Kedron will see a slight drop in water level (two feet) around early November, when Lake Peachtree’s water level is raised by two feet. This minor increase will put a shallow layer of water over the northern portion of the lake, almost to Highway 54, to prevent weed growth during the construction period. The corresponding drop in Lake Kedron’s lake level will provide a safety reservoir to protect the spillway construction zone in case of heavy rains.

 The construction schedule for the spillway is:

•Aug. 17 – City Council awarded spillway construction contract

•Aug. 28 – begin lowering Lake Peachtree by a total of 8 ft.

•Mid-September through mid-October – Construct cofferdam

•Late October – Lower Lake Kedron by 2 ft., raise Lake Peachtree by 2 ft.

•November – February – Construct new spillway foundation

•March – May – Construct new spillway walls and weirs

•May – June – Project closeout and return Lake Peachtree & Lake Kedron to full pool

Both Lake Peachtree and Lake Kedron will be allowed to refill to normal water levels by June 2018, when the spillway project is scheduled to be completed.

The City Council on Aug. 17 approved the $4.387 million low bid by North Georgia Concrete, Inc. for the Lake Peachtree spillway project.

Fayette County will contribute $2 million and SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) revenues will make up the remaining amount. Those revenues will repay an anticipated Ga. Environmental Finance Authority loan that comes with a .81 percent rate of interest.