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Topic: Hamilton Dam finally to be removed
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The June 2016 edition of th East Village News discusses plans for a five (5) year agreement between the Genesee County Parks and the City of Flint to maintain and operate parks with n the City of Flint. Kayla Chappell is the author of the article CCNA (College Cultural Neighborhood Association)hears parks and council-mayor reports. The report details Amy McMillan, Genesee County Parks Director, explaining how this extension of an original two (2) year program, the new Riverfront Restoration Project, will include "renovation and restoration of the Hamilton Dam, Riverfront Park, and Chevy Commons."

Mc Millan was quoted as saying the Hamilton Dam, "the single most dangerous dam in the entire state of Michigan" will be removed except for the super structure under the water. The new design by Wade Trim will feature a fish passage, water hydraulics and a reconstructed pedestrian bridge.

This article is available online : eastvillagemagazine.org
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:23 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Mark Bashore of WKAR Radio posted on May 3, 2016, "Effort aims at restoring parts of the Flint River" how "Genesee County, state and local officials are working with a local advocacy group on the Flint River Restoration Project, which aims to update and revitalize the river's banks and nearby areas. It includes the removal of an aging, unsafe dam, the remediation of an old auto manufacturing site and efforts to make the Flint River more visually pleasing and accessible."

Current State talks with Amy Mc Millan, Director of Genesee Count Parks (http://www.geneseecounty parks.org/

Janet Van DeWinkle, head of the Flint River Corridor Alliance (http://wwwf.frcalliance.org/

The show was a broadcast of Current State operated by MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism (http://j-school.jrn.msu.edu//kc/
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:39 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The Capital News Service posted on November 7, 2014 (Amanda Prosia of Lansing) "Dams may be removed before they can fail."

The article focused on how a dam failure of a Northern Michigan dam, the O'Neal dam which was listed as a low hazard dam, placed a "spotlight on the rest of the state's aging inventory of water control structures."

The state has mandatory inspections of dams and at the time of the article there were 88 Michigan dams that had received "high hazard" status. These inspections can be every one, two, or three years as detrmined upon how great the risk is to public safety.

Four "high hazard" dams were owned by public agencies, including the Hamilton Dam,owned by the City of Flint. The other three are the Otsego and Trowbridge dams owned by Allegan County, and the Boardman dam owned by Grand traverse County.
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:00 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Luke Trumble, a Department of Natural Resources Safety inspector was the inspector for three of the top four, except the Boardman. His observation was "to my knowledge remova is the only option on the table for these three (3) dams." He noted that it is often cheaper to remove a hazardous dam than to repair it.

"As long as a dam meets state standards, the ultimate decision whether to remove a dam lies with it's owner." said Trumble.

According to Trumble, inspection of the Flint owned Hamilton Dam identified deficiency issues such as a deteriorating concrete spillway . After a 2012 inspection cited fears the dam would fail, the City of Flint drew down water to reduce the threat. The city also made temporary repairs including installation of structures upstream to hold back more water. To bring the dam into compliance, said Tumble, it would require "extensive repairs.
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:18 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Trumble noted the dam was formerly used for the Flint water supply, but was no longer the primary source of water for the City.

At the time of the article, the removal of the dam, said Trumble was in the early stages of planning and no official plans or permit applications had been filed.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:24 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

On August 20,2004 the DEQ sent a communication about the Hamilton dam by certified mail Bob Carlyon, City of flint Utilities Director.

"The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has determned that a condition exists that poses a serious danger to the Hamilton Dam, Dam ID number 60. Our records indicate that he City of Flint (City) is the owner of this dam located on the Flint River. The City, as owner, must tae action to address this threat of dam failure.

The Hamilton Dam is regulated by Part 315, Dam Safety, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. It is classified a a high hazard potential per part 315, which means it is "...a dam located in an area where a failure may cause serious damage to inhabited homes, agricultural buildings, campgrounds, recreational facilities, industrial or commercial buildings, public utilities, main highways, or class I carrier railroads, or where environmental degradation would be significant, or where danger to individuals exists with the potential for loss of life."
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:35 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

In a 2012 dam safety inspection done for the city by Spicer Group, the dam was found to be "in poor overall condition. Spicer Group's" report on the inspection , dated December 4, 2012, included the following statements:

"There is a significant amount of spalling concrete along the entire dam, Several areas have exposed reinforced steel." Page 1

"Transverse cracks were observed along the center of all the piers". Page 2

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined the structure to be in poor condition and recommended replacement/reconstruction." Page 5

"It would be very Questionable if, during a significant storm event, the dam operators would be able to open the gates and convey the required peak discharge. The dam may not be able to withstand the structural steel exerted during a flood event." page 5
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:47 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

DEQ Aug 20, 2004 Page 2

In an April 2002 report entitled "Hamilton Dam Condition Survey" done for the City by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Corps recommended that the entire dam be reconstructed (Page 5). The report also includes the following statements"

"It was determined that the concrete piers and gates supporting the structure no longer provide the required for llfting the gates". Page 2

"The steel gates and operating machinery are also in poor operating condition". Page 5

" Based on a recent site inspection, it has been recommended that only gates 3 & 5 be operated with gate 4 used in emergency situations only... With the two gates fully raised, it can be assumed that the dam will only be able to pass a discharge of approximately 10,000 cfs. This discharge is less than both the State and federal spillway capacity standards." Page 4

The Hamilton Dam was inspected by the DEQ's Land and Water Management Division's (LWMD) Dam Safety Program Engineers on July 7, 2004 and the poor condition was confirmed.
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:00 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Section 31516(1)(c) of Part 315 states:

"High hazard potential dams, less than 40 feet in height, as measured from the 200-year design flood elevation to the lowest downstream toe elevation, shall be capable of passing the 200-year flood or the flood record, whichever is greater."


Based on the information supplied in the reports and staff discussions between the LWMD and the City, it appears that the Hamilton Dam does not have the capacity to reliably pass the 200-year flood. This is due to the very poor condition of gate 4, which is needed to provide adequate capacity.
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:07 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Section 31518(7)of Part 315 states:

"If, based on the findings and recommendations of the inspection report and by an inspection of the department, the department finds a condition exists which endangers a dam, it shall order the owner to take actions that the department considers necessary to alleviate the danger."


Due to the poor condition of the Hamilton Dam, the City is therefore ordered to take the following actions:

1. Provide a plan ans schedule, to be approved by the DEQ, stating how the City plans to address the deficiencies of the dam.

Page 3

2. Implement the approved plan and schedule.

3. n the event that the hazard at he dam is not alleviated in the time frame set forth in the schedule approved by the DEQ, the City shall draw down the water behind the dam to minimize the hazards pose by failure.

The City is required to subit a written response to this order, which is to breeived in this office no later than September 30, 2004.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Mr. Byron Lane, Chief Dam Safety Program, LWMD, at 517-241-9862, or you may contact me.

Mary Ellen Cromwell, Acting Chief, LWMD
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:23 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

On February 28, 2005 , William Daniels II, Operations and Technical Supervisor of the Flint Water Plant & Facilities, Utilities Department , sent a proposed plan to construct a replacement dam and demolish the existing dam.

The letter to Byron Lane:

"As per the letter received by the City of Flint on August 20, 2004, we here have been attempting to comply with the MDEQ and mitigate the hazardous condition of the Hamilton Dam structure. Mr. G. Robert Carlyon and I have been working together to find alternative methods of funding the needed rehabilitation of the structure and believe we may have discovered a funding method to accomplish our goals. We have budgeted for the Hamilton Dam replacement through our sewer fund for fiscal 05-06. Bear in mind that this is still a proposed budget and remains to be approved. With those things in mind, we would like to offer you a tentative schedule for the replacement with the appropriate dates and names subject to change. We feel this is an honest attempt to comply and that the information and timetable we are giving you is a realistic scenario based on our years of experience in large municipal projects of this nature."
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:44 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Remember the Mayor proposes the budget and the council approves. Budget hearings are conducted with each department presenting a (hopefully) realistic summation of their needs.

For whatever reason, the entire project did not go forward.

On October 5, 2006 the DEQ sent Bill Daniels a communication from Paul T Wessel, P.E., of the Dam Safety Program.

The last paragraph reads:


"Since this dam has been given a high hazard potential rating, you are requird by Part 315 to review the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for this dam and determine if t is up to date. You include notification lists with this inspection reports. Because it has been over a year since the updates were made, we would recommend that you review the EAP and make sure the notification lis is still valid. You should then advise the Dam Safety Program of the findings of the review and submit any revisions to the Dam Safety Program and to the county emergency management coordinator by December 31, 2006."
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:47 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The Flint Journal printed a story "Two dams in need of repairs yesterday" (Jeff Johnston, October 13, 2007.

Johnston painted visionary images of what a new Hamilton Dam could be if it was rebuilt someday.

"But if "someday" doesn't happen soon, engineers have a different vision: of a crumbling, 87-year-old structure failing, sending torrents of contaminated floodwaters through downtown Flint, draining the city's emergency water supply and threatening businesses, homes and lives", wrote Johnston.

Johnston wrote that a Hamilton Dam Committee had been formed for a year hoping that stalled federal funding would materialize. The Hamilton Dam was in the Top Five list for dangerous dams in Michigan.

Johnston quoted Jason Kenyon of Wade Trim describing the constraints for any solution. The solution must:
*Keep the water high enough upstream for the city's emergency backup water plant to pump.

* Maintain Enough flow downtown to run the city's wastewater treatment plant on Linden road

* Prevent long-buried industrial contaminants from washing downstream
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:29 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The money for the dam repair remained in limbo. Dale Kildee's office pushed for funding for ten years and Carl Levin was lobbying for possible emergency money.

A turn of the century coal plant left buried pollutants that would be released in case of flood and carried downstream. Even lowering the water levels could expose those pollutants and others according to Paul Wessel of the DEQ.

Don Williamson pinned his hopes on finding funding when he held a press conference in front of the dam. Not enough money was raised to make it a reality. The cost of replacing the dam ranged between $5 and $7 million.
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:55 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The second dam referenced by Johnston is the Thread Lake Dam, built in the 1880;s and rated in poor condition

"Details: Inoperable gate. Significant deterioration of wing walls and central pier. Insufficient spillway capacity. The dam is in poor enough shape that the DEQ could order the water drawn down if it's not repaired or replaced, Wessel said. Repair costs would likely be more than $1 million. Removal would be cheaper but would expose contaminated sediments from pollution and leave residents with acres of mudflats.


I remember the Genesee County health Department around 1999 advised residents not to eat the fish from the lake because of the pollutants. McKinley Park used to have signs posted saying no swimming or fishing. The signs are gone , but was the issue abated?
Post Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:07 pm 
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