College Lake Dam Stabilization/Removal

Lynchburg, Virginia
Owner: City of Lynchburg

Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI) worked as a sub-consultant on a study for the College Lake Dam stabilization/removal project and served as the environmental lead. The dam has been identified as “high-hazard” and the team was tasked with evaluating the viability of reinforcing the structure or replacing the dam with a bridge. The project was complicated, as College Lake is located on privately-held property and the dam serves as the road embankment for a major Lynchburg thoroughfare.

WSSI’s primary responsibility was the evaluation and design of alternatives for restoration of the lake bed in the event that the dam is removed.  Regulatory staff worked closely with state and federal regulators to assess impacts to Waters of the U.S. impacts, develop Clean Water Act permit conditions, and evaluate the project in the context of local TMDL and MS4 permits. WSSI staff developed a natural channel design framework based on the hydrology for the current and future watershed conditions of the 22 square-mile drainage area. In addition, our engineers and landscape architects worked to bring potential design alternatives to life through renderings of both the design alternatives. These renderings were critical in conveying design details and information to interested stakeholders at public meetings.

WSSI engineers analyzed sediment transport dynamics, which included assessing past, present, and future deposition rates; options for dredging operations to allow continued functionality of the lake (now 1/3rd of its original volume); and detailing the implications of dam removal on surrounding infrastructure and ecology.   

Conceptual rendering of College Lake's bed restoration

Conceptual rendering of College Lake's bed restoration

Page updated Aug. 3, 2018 to reflect WSSI's work on the project is complete.