ODNR to upgrade Guilford Lake Dam to meet safety standards
Ohio is investing in a 177-year-old dam at a Columbiana County park to make it safer.
The state Controlling board on Monday approved a request from the Department of Natural Resources to spend $2,470,000 to improve the Guilford Lake State Park Dam located in Hanover Township in Columbiana County, and the Nimisila Reservoir Dam in Portage Lakes State Park located south of Akron.
Guilford Lake Dam is an earthen dam located directly north of the Village of Guilford in Hanover Township in the middle of Guilford Lake State Park. The dam’s embankment is 3,200 feet long and 34-and-a-half feet height.
The dam was originally constructed in 1846 as a feeder reservoir for the Sandy-Beaver Canal.
According to ODNR, the dam does not meet current dam safety standards including insufficient capacity to safely handle severe weather conditions.
The Nimisila Reservoir, owned and operated by the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft, also doesn’t meet current dam safety standards.
The contract will provide professional services to design alternative analysis and construction administration of a risk reduction measure to rehabilitate the Guilford Lake dam spillway, lake drain improvements, control seepage through the dam, and other access and public safety improvements.
Guilford Lake offers visitors fishing, and picnic areas, launch ramps, dock rentals, and paddleboat rentals.
A campground is located on a former pine plantation on the north side of the lake offering a swim beach and a playground.
The park attracts migrating waterfowl in fall and spring, and songbirds in summer.