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What to know about the 'high hazard' College Lake Dam in Lynchburg

The dam is more than 80 years old

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Amid concerns that the College Lake Dam may fail, here are some facts to know about the dam.

  • The dam was built in 1934 by the Virginia Department of Highways
  • Both the dam and road are owned by the city of Lynchburg
  • The reservoir is owned by Lynchburg College
  • In 2011, the dam was listed among high hazard dams in need of repair in Virginia by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • The original surface area of the lake was reported to be 44 acres and has been reduced to 19 acres due to sedimentation, according to the University of Lynchburg.
  • In July 2014, the city of Lynchburg and then-Lynchburg College initiated a study to asses the condition of both the lake and the dam
  • Two possible solutions of the study are two either rehabilitate the dam to meet current dam safety regulations or decommission the dam
  • Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. is working on a stabilization/removal project regarding the College Lake Dam
  • If the dam does break, Thursday night or Friday morning, the water depth at Lynchburg could exceed 17 feet in 7 minutes.

About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.