Upper Clemson Dike Partially Open During Home Games

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SAVANNAH, Ga., - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, has restricted pedestrian access over the diversion dams along the Seneca River Portion of Hartwell Lake that borders Clemson University but will allow access from one location for boat docking throughout the current reconstruction program there. The open access space will extend throughout the upcoming football season.

In past years some football fans have anchored boats on a small beach area in the vicinity of the uppermost dam and walked over the dam to the nearby Death Valley/Memorial Stadium. Due to safety concerns during the reconstruction, Corps officials will restrict pedestrian access only to the upstream end of the northern dam throughout this football season.

The Corps will relocate and add fencing at the upper dam to provide pedestrian access around that end of the construction zone for home football games. The Corps will add one pedestrian gate located on the Clemson University side of the dam near the end of the asphalt road near the "Downtown Community Fellowship Church." This gate will be unlocked preceding the home football games and relocked two hours after the end of the game. Security guards positioned on the upper dam will provide directions and additionally provide construction site security. The dams will remain closed to jogging, walking and other recreation during the reconstruction project but will be reopened when the project is complete in 2005.

The two diversion dams are being strengthened to withstand earthquakes that could cause them to fail, threatening life, and causing significant physical and economic damage to the university and the region. When the dams were designed more than 40 years ago, seismic considerations were not required. The dams were built in the 1960s to protect 390 acres of Clemson University property from inundation when Hartwell Lake was created. Using state-of-the-art techniques, the Corps' contractor, Raito, Inc., mixes cement with existing soil deep inside and in the foundations of the earthen dams.

They will also install an internal drainage system in each dam to collect seepage water and discharge it in a safe and controlled manner.
The $7.7 million project began in December 2003 and is scheduled to be complete by May. Planning for the project began in the 1980s.
Under the current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dam Safety Assurance Program these dams require this upgrade.

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