Dredging operations are complete, and all excavating equipment has been removed from the lake. Barges may remain in the upper parking lot until May. The depth of the lake is now approximately 4.5 feet with the exception of the border areas of the lake. Dredging was not conducted there in order to maintain a "safety bench"; in the event that a child or park visitor would fall in the lake by accident, the water level is only a few inches deep. To wrap up the project, the contractor will be cleaning up the work area along the shore and will clean the safety benches of all debris, sticks, and rocks.
This May, the stone walls that border the lake will be repaired in areas that are deteriorating. At times the lake will be drawn down to lower levels in order to facilitate this work.
About the Dredging Project
City Park is a regional attraction that welcomes thousands of visitors every year. It has even gained national attention and was recently rated the most beautiful municipal park in the country by the travel website, escapehere.com. There are three lakes within the park, the most recognizable being the Lower Lake as it sits along Virginia Avenue in front of the Museum of Fine Arts. It was constructed 100 years ago and spans a footprint of seven acres.
Over the course of the last century, it is estimated 32,000 cubic yards of sediment have accumulated at the bottom of the lake as a result of leaves, trash, waterfowl and fish waste, and slight erosion of the lake banks. Through a study of the lake floor, it was determined the average depth is 2.4 feet; the shallowest area is 1.5 feet and the deepest part of the lake is 3.8 feet.These shallow levels have resulted in general deterioration of the water quality and have left the fountain inoperable. Through the dredging process, about 18,000 cubic yards of sediment will be removed to increase the lake's depth to approximately five feet, enhancing the lake's appearance, providing a healthier habitat for wildlife and waterfowl at the park, and creating opportunities for additional activities on the lake.
The City of Hagerstown has opted to dredge the lake through a mechanical process, whereby an excavator will scoop the silt from the bottom of the lake and transfer the material to a barge to be hauled away. This method is the most cost-effective option that minimizes impacts to the community and the park's natural resources as the lake will not need to be drained. The dredging process is being completed over the winter season to further minimize any impacts on park visitors and wildlife.
The City is pleased to work in partnership with the Washington County Solid Waste Department to have the silt removed to the Washington County Landfill where it will be used as daily cover. The trucks hauling the sediment will be sealed so material will not leak on the roads. The 18,000 cubic yards of removed sediment equate to approximately 1,600 truckloads.
City Engineer Rodney Tissue and a representative from Bay Land Consultants & Designers, Inc. present the scope of the project to Mayor & City Council (September13, 2016)
Watch the Public Information Meeting
City Engineer Rodney Tissue presents the details of the project at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (January 11, 2017)
City Park Lake Dredging Project Update
There's a lot of buzz about the dredging project over at City Park Lake, so we asked our City Engineer to break down the process and give you a better idea of exactly what's going on. We're very proud of City Park, and we take on projects like these so the community has more ways to enjoy this great amenity! For updates on the project, visit www.hagerstownmd.org/cleanthelake.
For more information on the dredging project, contact the Department of Parks & Engineering at (301) 739-8577 ext. 125.