Broomall’s Dam Update: temporary dam removal

Oct 15, 2015 by

As reported by Media Borough Council President Brian Hall at tonight’s Council meeting, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has indicated that they will conduct a “partial breach” of Broomall’s Dam by June 1, 2016. The PADEP has had growing concerns about the structural integrity of the aging dam, which was determined to be in poor condition in 1980. This would be a temporary dam removal until the dam is replaced as “part of overall efforts to reestablish the dam and roadway.”

The PADEP communicated their intention to breach the dam at a meeting on Wednesday, October 14 between representatives of Delaware County, Media Borough, Broomall’s Lake Country Club, and the PADEP. That meeting was to resolve issues surrounding who would sign as owner(s) for the Emergency Action Plan(s) for Broomall’s Dam, which is to plan for public safety in the event of an accidental dam failure. The meeting was also to address other responsibilities surrounding the operation and maintenance of Broomall’s Dam.

As we previously reported, Media Borough voted in July not to sign the EAP as owner. Hall reported tonight that there is “still some wordsmithing about responsibilities under the EAP,” the “terms are not worked out,” and “no one has set ink to paper” to sign as owner.

According to Hall, while the dam is temporarily breached, there will be no foot traffic across Broomall’s Run to and from Upper Providence. There might also be restrictions in the north end of Glen Providence Park. This may last a few years, until construction of the new dam is complete – and according to an update from Schnabel Engineering this April, construction on the new dam would likely begin in 2017 or 2018.

We would like to learn more about this project, including environmental impacts to Glen Providence Park and Broomall’s Run, whether there will be access to Glen Providence Park from the entrance at 3rd & West Streets, and whether there is any way to create access for pedestrians to cross to and from Upper Providence. As we learn the answers to these questions, we will post updates.

You can read about and see pictures of the proposed 1.1 acre construction area for the new dam, including the approximately 2/3 acre of Glen Providence Park that would be buried under earthfill, in our 1.1 Acre Photojournal.

The Friends of Glen Providence Park continues to support dam removal, stream restoration and a local discussion of an environmentally-sensitive bridge between Media Borough and Upper Providence.

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1 Comment

  1. advocacy

    We learned from Roger Adams, PADEP Division of Dam Safety, that today and tomorrow, they will sample the sediments in Broomall’s Lake. To facilitate this, they are doing a partial draw down today so that the sampling can take place on Wednesday. After that, Broomall’s Lake will refill.

    Sediment testing is a step in their process to remove the dam. The PADEP is aware of the turtles in the lake. We will continue to post updates as we learn more.

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