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Why Lake Knickerbocker dam is looking different
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Motorists along East Lake Drive will notice work underway on the Lake Knickerbocker Dam between the tiny lake and Lake Lanier. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville is making some improvements to the dam at Lake Knickerbocker, a project that has been several years in the making.

The 45-acre lake near Chattahoochee Golf Club north of downtown has a dam spanning either side of East Lake Drive. The $3 million project, set to be complete in September, includes removal of trees from the dam and the installation of rip rap, stones that can be used to keep water back and ward off erosion.

“If there were very heavy rain at some point, it is possible that the water could leak in to the spillway. The water level might rise and go over the dam,” Chris McGauley, a civil engineer with Gainesville Water Resources, said. “If that were the case, the stone would help to slow the water down and stop it from damaging the slopes.”

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A boat floats near the spillway at the Lake Knickerbocker Dam on the Lake Lanier side Wednesday, June 26, 2019. - photo by Scott Rogers

Linda MacGregor, Gainesville Water Resources director, said there will occasionally be single lane closures on the road so the project can be done.

The project was approved in 2015, but the city was waiting on approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over both Lake Knickerbocker and Lake Lanier, which sits on the other side of the dam. The city is responsible for maintenance of the dam because it has an easement for water and sewer lines there, MacGregor said.

When improvements were first announced, the city was hoping to stop the flow of silt in to Lake Knickerbocker, a problem residents had asked to be addressed.

Lake Knickerbocker was built in the late 1950s by the damming of Ada Creek.