Longview Lake Dam and Spillway to be Repaired

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While the city begins repairing a dam and spillway in East Raleigh, lakeside residents will continue investigating the possibility of restoring the entire lake.

Members of the Public Works Committee Tuesday agreed to start repairing the dam and spillway at the Lower Longview Lake, which has been in disrepair for almost 30 years. During the four- to six-month period that it will take the city to acquire construction easements, residents and city staff will continue discussing the excavation the lake in order to restore some of its depth and capacity.

The privately owned Longview Lake, just off of New Bern Avenue, was built in the 1940s. The homeowners association lapsed and hasn’t been for at least 30 years, resulting in no maintenance and sediment buildup.

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James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The portion of Albemarle Avenue that runs over the dam has been closed since 2009, when it was deemed unsafe.

The city will shell out the $2.5 million needed to restore the dam, spillway and road, but stopped short of excavating the lake because of the added expense.

Excavating the lake could mean additional permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees established wetlands.

Scott Bryant of the city’s Stormwater Utility Department said staff recently met with the Corps of Engineers to get some basic information about the impact of excavating the lake. Preliminary research found that about 1.7 to 2 acres of wetlands would be impacted by the sediment removal and additional permits would be required.

Excavating could potentially add $1 million to the project.

Bryant recommended that if the Councilors wanted staff to pursue removing the sediment, it should be considered a separate project from the dam and spillway repair.

Gloria Putnam has lived on the lake since 2004 and said she has seen the sediment build up quickly. Putman said she doesn’t want to see the existing wetlands destroyed, but would like to bring some depth back to the lake.

“Let’s go ahead and figure out a way to do this whole waterway project,” she said.

Gloria Putnam's backyard with a view of upper Longview Lake in the background.

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

Gloria Putnam's backyard with a view of upper Longview Lake in the background.

Councilor John Odom said he wanted the project to get started, but asked that staff come back in in January to have a separate discussion about removing the sediment. The full Council will vote on the issue at its next meeting in December.

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