Freedom—August 2, 2019—With the Governor’s approval on Wednesday, the long-delayed project to replace the Ossipee River Dam will finally begin. Work will commence on Monday, August 5, according to Jim Gallagher, Chief Engineer of the DES Dam Bureau, who will lead the project for the state.
The dam replacement project was announced in 2009, but was repeatedly postponed because of state funding constraints. Last August, Gallagher announced at an Ossipee Lake Alliance forum that funding was in place and work would begin this year. By spring, however, the project again seemed destined for delay—this time because the federal government’s steel tariffs put material costs in flux.
Despite the potential setback, the Dam Bureau plunged ahead in April by issuing an RFP for the project, and hosting five interested construction companies at an on-site orientation meeting. Massachusetts-based Charter Contracting Company LLC won the work with a $4.96 million bid, which is approximately the original cost estimate and the number the Governor approved this week.
Last year the state predicted replacing the dam would take two summers to complete if work began this spring. Given the three-month delay, a new timeline will have to be established once work begins. Activities will be halted during the winter and spring snowmelt.
The new dam will have flood gates that can be controlled remotely from Concord. The state believes the new complex will help alleviate flooding on the lake, although it will not completely eliminate high water because of the lake’s geography.
The Dam Bureau’s plan in presented in detail in this story, which was published in August, 2018.