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Reston Association Gets Grant To Help Pay for Lake Anne Dam Evaluation

by Katherine Berko — July 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm 7 Comments

A state grant will foot half of the $14,590 bill for a recent hazard analysis of Lake Anne Dam.

A $7,295 grant from the Virginia Resources Authority will be put toward the evaluation, which was completed by consulting engineers GKY & Associates. Reston Association helped bring this grant to fruition.

RA says that prior to seeking the grant money, it had three potential construction solutions to bring the dam into compliance with state regulations, which would have cost between $2 million and $4 million. But according to RA:

Additional and more recent guidance provided by the state allows for evaluating certain aspects of the dam, including the spillway capacity and downstream impacts. RA opted to pursue an evaluation under this new guidance, which could result in a solution without excessive costs associated with extensive renovations to the dam.

The grant is part of a decision by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to provide $1.15 million for dam safety and floor management statewide. In a press release, McAuliffe cited the importance of the grant money and how “dam failures can be tragic for families and economically devastating for communities.”

“For almost the entirety of [Lake Anne] dam’s existence, it’s been considered a significant hazard dam,” said Larry Butler, RA’s senior director for Parks, Recreation and Community.

Butler explained that over the past few years, as the state changed dam safety regulations, Lake Anne’s dam was re-classified as a high hazard dam.

“More than half of the dams receiving funding are classified as high hazard, meaning they pose the greatest risk to life and property upon failure and are a priority for the Commonwealth,” said Clyde E. Cristman, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, in the state press release.

Lake Anne was one of the dams to receive their grant as part of a 50/50 matching program. The other half of the evaluation’s cost will come from RA’s capital budget.

  • Umust B Kidding

    So let me get this straight: The state has changed the rules (and RA has enthusiastically accepted the change) about dam safety, not to make them more protective, but to make them less so–and that makes it cheaper!

    I wonder if the people killed or the property destroyed downstream will think this is a great idea when a dam failure happens. I’ll bet they’ll still sue the pants off RA (meaning us) in a suit that will cost much more than repairs that would have cost $2-$4 million.

    • John Higgins

      Not sure how one can infer from the article that new rules have a negative impact on dam safety. Under the revised standards, Lake Anne dam is viewed as a greater risk, calling for more extensive (and more expensive) inspections and remediation if found sub-standard. The state grant will offset some of the inspection costs.

  • 40yearsinreston

    There should be a special assesment levied on lake front real estate
    I’m tired of subsidising their property values and floating barges

    • Tom H

      It’s your choice. Move out of RA jurisdiction. BTW, I live in Reston, but outside of the RA. Was a factor when we moved.

      • Mike M

        I dunno. I think a rules change would be sweet!

    • Lake Anne Resident

      Thanks!

  • Mike M

    Seems like one expensive damn evaluation!

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