Freedom—April 23, 2019—Five potential bidding contractors attended a meeting held by the Dam Bureau last week in anticipation of a summer start for the long-awaited replacement of the Ossipee River Dam.
After a brief question and answer session with the DES project lead, the contractors toured the site and the construction staging area and access road on the far side of the dam.
Planning for the project is proceeding despite a $1.5 million funding shortfall identified by DES officials earlier this month. Last year, the state appropriated $4.9 million for the project, but costs have ballooned to $6.4 million. At the time of the shortfall announcement, DES officials expressed confidence that the additional money could be found in time for work to commence this summer.
The dam replacement will be primarily a concrete construction project. The new dam will be built directly across the “peninsula” from the existing head house. The existing dam will remain in place during the entire construction phase, with the batter boards in place set to elevation 408.5′ to protect construction activities downstream.
Maintaining the summer lake elevation at 407.25′ will be accomplished by adjusting the five gates in the existing head house. In the event of a severe rain that causes the lake level to rise above the control elevation of 408.5′, the contractor will need to temporarily halt activities until the lake recedes.
At the construction staging area, a 60-foot deep area adjacent to the river at the new dam location, the meeting attendees participated in a second question and answer session on site access, water elevation control, construction meetings (which will occur every two weeks), site preparation, utility availability, and vendor information.
Construction will take place over two summer seasons, with work halted from the start of winter through the spring snow melt period. The final stage of the project will be the demolition of the old dam, which will include removal of the steel superstructure and the concrete dam and footings. Disposal of this material will be the responsibility of the contractor.
The state expects construction bids to be submitted by May 3rd with a contract awarded in late May. Pending full state funding, construction could commence in early July.