Work on Zoar Levee ponding area underway

Work on Zoar Levee ponding area underway
Lori Feeney

Work on Zoar Levee ponding area is underway.


Rehabilitation work on the ponding area by the Zoar Levee pump station began the week of July 13. In an online meeting on July 23, Nathan White of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers updated consulting parties about the project’s status, the upcoming schedule and best management practices to key consulting parties.

Consulting parties are organizations and individuals affected by and involved in the work on the levee. They include the Zoar Community Association, Ohio History Connection, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, Zoar Village Council, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and others.

The original ponding area was built in 1950. According to White, the maintenance and upgrade work will increase flood protection for the village, part of which was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 2016.

Work on the pond will include dredging the existing sediment to a depth of 4 feet, placing several layers of gravel filter material, shoring up the filter with larger stone and reseeding the disposal areas to replace ground cover.

White said the rehab work will not affect any of the historic properties in the village. “When finished, pumps along the toe of the levee will move water to the levee’s southeast corner, then under state Route 212 to the ponding area, where water will be able to collect and drain slowly.”

According to White, the corp hopes to begin a geophysical analysis of several areas in September.

“The geophysical investigation will consist of magnetometry and ground-penetrating radar, supplemented by small soil probes and 4-inch bucket auger probes in the event of archaeological items being found,” White said, adding any ground that is disturbed will be backfilled.

White outlined the upcoming project schedule and details, which included:

—Continuing work on a long-term risk-management plan, which will include a breakdown of how the corps will respond in the event of any archaeological discoveries.

—Limiting all construction traffic to First Street, Fifth Street and state Route 212.

—Awarding the contract for construction of the Internal Erosion Interception Trench in December of January.

White also provided a detailed explanation of the corp’s best management practices, stating the contractor chosen will need to provide:

—A traffic maintenance plan that follows ODOT requirements.

—A plan for specific routing of all contractor vehicles that assures unimpeded access to buildings and sites by emergency responders.

—Designated “no idling” zones where construction equipment and vehicles cannot be parked while idling to minimize disruptions to businesses and residents.

—The placement of “jersey barriers” or the equivalent in all areas where accidental collision with construction vehicles could occur.

—Baseline documentation of the condition of structures and landscaping features to aid in restoration of preconstruction conditions.

—Limiting work to daylight hours Monday through Friday, no work on weekends unless it is necessary in order to stay on schedule and no work to take place during scheduled festivals and special events.

—Use of tarpaulins or other covers on vehicles transporting loose sand, gravel, topsoil or similar materials to avoid air-borne contaminants being expelled or construction debris falling out of vehicles.

—Regular street cleaning.

—Erosion-control measures.

Public outreach and communications

As part of the USACE public outreach plan, White will be the featured speaker at the Nov. 7 Speaker Series at the Zoar Schoolhouse. His presentation will cover the recent archaeological survey conducted in preparation for the levee repair work. The one-hour presentation, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 11 a.m.

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