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City construction crews continue work on the Claremore Lake Dam project.

Work continues on the first major rehabilitation project on Claremore Lake Dam since 1967.

Claremore City Engineer Garrett Ball said his team noticed areas needing maintenance during yearly inspections required by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

“We started out the year before last I believe it was,” Ball said. “We had some divers come in and do some repairs to the water intake — that’s where we pull the water from the lake into the water plant. That was the first thing that we did. We replaced some valves on the raw water intake and there were some concrete repairs that were done then.”

Ball said he is working on repairing erosion by putting in a new wall and riprap — rock used to protect shoreline structures against erosion. The riprap, which Ball said doesn't cover the surface well, was put on more than five decades ago. The old riprap will be reclaimed and used in a different location. His team also excavated rock away from the spillway to push water away from the dam abutment.

Councilors approved Monday night just under $23,000 for an excavator rental and the purchase of tools and rebar for the project. Ball said he isn’t sure of the total cost but doing the project in-house is cheaper than hiring contractors.

“We are doing all of this work in-house so there is a substantial cost saving over having a contractor do it,” Ball said. “It is still going to be a substantial cost for this project.”

While the price tag on this project is significant, Ball said this work is necessary to protect Claremore’s water.

“We are just doing some maintenance work to ensure the viability of the lake dam and the primary water source for the city of Claremore,” Ball said.

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