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Bids for Lake Vesuvius project to be opened next week

Lake Vesuvius fans won’t have to wait long.

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Lake Vesuvius fans won’t have to wait long.

Bids for the construction of a new roller-compacted concrete dam will be opened May 23. And, construction should begin by July 1.

A pre-bid conference went well, experts are finalizing environmental documents for the forest’s recreation plan, and there’s even an overlook being constructed, said Wilma Boggess, Wayne National Forest information specialist.

The overlook will allow visitors to the lake area to watch construction as it occurs. A dedication ceremony will come in June.

Meanwhile, fisheries biologist Becky Ewing has been working with environmental documents on the forest’s proposed recreation plan.

"We’ve had a our comment period, about what everybody wants to see, and now we’re summarizing," Ms. Ewing said.

A planning activity is planned for Saturday with about 30 invited people who represent a cross-section of users, she said.

"We’re still early in the process, but once Saturday’s over we will get into the writing of the environmental document, hopefully finish by September It’s a long process but if we do it right then that’s over with and we can get to the projects."

There has been a lot of interest in keeping the beach open, and people have been very favorable for a bridge, boardwalks, trail work, dredging the boat dock area and other recreation and fishing improvements, Ms. Ewing said.

Officials have also said they would like to see a private developer interested in lodge-type recreation projects.

The work will take grants, public and private partnerships and input, they said.

"This week. we’ll hammer out what the main issues are, send out botanists and archeologists, and then write, write, write," Ms. Ewing said.

This year’s work will bring the Vesuvius dam – an earthen dam built in the late 1930s – up to modern standards, even though it’s currently structurally sound. Roller-compacted concrete will give it greater capacity to handle heavy rainfall events.

The dam will be "armored" with roller-compacted concrete and re-covered with topsoil.

When construction starts, the Wayne will put pictures and information on the Internet. To access it, go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/wayne