Rehabilitation of the Upper Owl Creek Dam for the Borough of Tamaqua is underway and expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Contractors recently used heavy duty excavating equipment to demolish the pedestrian bridge and thick concrete spillway in preparation for a new larger spillway to be built in its place.

The large project involves the removal to the upper dam's concrete intake tower, control house, sluice gates, trash racks and pedestrian bridge. It also involves the raising of the upper dam four feet with earthfill, thus requiring that the toe of the dam be extended downstream approximately 100 feet with on-site fill.

The well-known water intake house was destroyed and new system is being built closer to the breach of the dam. The uppder dam's spillway chute converges with the valve house's drainage channel and eventually drains into the lower dam which withdraws into the Little Schuylkill River.

After final completion of the project, both dams will be closed to allow the reservoirs to fill back up with water and be used for recreational purposes.

The work, financed by the Commonwealth Financing Authority/H20 Borough of Tamaqua Grant, is being done by Performance Construction Services Inc. The engineers are Alfred Benesch & Company and Schnabel Engineering.

Rob Jones, Tamaqua's public works director, stated that they will be advertising open bids very soon for the lower dam, which will be voted on next month.