The Clarke County Reservoir project continues to move forward, reaching the end of the acquisition phase and kicking off the draft design phase. With these steps in motion, the project stays on track for a completion date near the end of 2024.
In October, the Clarke County Reservoir Commission tied up the final acres required to move to the next phase of the reservoir development project. About 3,046 acres of land encompasses everything for the Clarke County Reservoir, including acres for the reservoir water basin, the land buffer that will surround the reservoir, required development of replacement wildlife habitat, as well as the land needed for the placement of the dam and spillway.
Currently, a geotechnical investigation is being made with technical teams performing soil sampling and groundwater measurements. The plan is for the investigators to make more than sixty borings ranging in depth from 30 – 200 feet, to help determine the type of material the dam will be built with and its underlying support. With that and the use of LIDAR – Light Detection and Ranging – mapping, engineers will be allowed to spec out design requirements using highly precise references, examining various environments, both natural and man-made, with flexibility and accuracy.
“With the LIDAR data, recently completed field topographic surveys, and the geotechnical drilling, we’ll be able to accurately start on in-the-field investigation and provide information for detailed, final design requirements of the dam and other engineering projects associated with the reservoir,” said Dave Beck, Project Coordinator of the CCRC.
With an aggressive and optimistic work schedule, this draft design phase is slated to end in April of 2020. HDR Engineering is carrying out this phase in conjunction with subcontractors Garden and Associates and Terracon. The next step will be to complete final design work which will prepare the project for required permits and obtaining construction bids.
Once all these pieces are assembled and a construction bid is secured, the Commission estimates that work will begin late 2022 and will take two years to complete.
“This is an exciting step,” said Bill Trickey, Clarke County Development Corporation’s Executive Director. “We couldn’t have done this without the overwhelming support from our community and the businesses throughout Clarke County.”
Since the early 90s, the Clarke County Reservoir Commission has been working closely with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the City of Osceola, the Osceola Water Works, and the Clarke County Development Corporation to evaluate the best possible options for future water needs. After years of evaluation, the current solution showed to be the best solution to not only meet the demands of a growing Osceola and Clarke County, but also provide water resources for surrounding areas. The capacity of the new reservoir will more than double the current water resource, West Lake’s 306 acres.