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Environment

Ohio Finishes $100M Dam Reinforcement Project At Buckeye Lake

buckeye_lake_dam_finished_home_rope_110818_-_chow.jpg
Andy Chow
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Buckeye Lake, with the newly reinforced earthen dam. The dam, which falls between the sidewalk and the water, was strengthened and put more space between homes and the shoreline.

Three years after making the controversial decision to lower water levels at an east central Ohio lake to repair a crumbling earthen dam, the project is finished. Gov. John Kasich put the project in motion after getting a report -- warning of “catastrophic failure.”

The water in Buckeye Lake was still as people walked out onto the newly reinforced natural dam, which also put more distance between homes and the shoreline.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned the state in 2014 of a potential dangerous collapse of the century-old dam.

Kasich said this project, which hampered tourism and cost more than $100 million, had nothing to do with political courage as some suggested.

“If you know a dam could break and many, many people would die and you decide to fix the dam does that take political courage? I think it takes common sense,” says Kasich.

Project officials say the stronger dam will last for another century and local leaders say they’re already seeing a rise in property values.

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