As part of the project to upgrade the secondary water supply on Cobun Creek, the Morgantown Utility Board is planning to make repairs and improvements to the existing dam and spillway within White Park.
In response to the city’s request about the scope of work, MUB staff have stated that the work will not impact or close existing trails in White Park, will not require the removal of or damage to trees in the park, and is not expected to have significant impacts on wildlife in the park.
MUB has proposed to construct repairs and improvements that its staff has described as follows:
- Rebuilding the concrete spillway overflow weir;
- Armoring the spillway channel walls with rip rap;
- Placing concrete to stabilize the hillside below and downstream of the overlook platform;
- Raise and restore the earthen dam crest
- Install rip rap at the bottom of the ravine below the spillway; and
- Replace slide gates within the intake tower.
The replacement of the slide gates within the intake tower includes temporary drainage of the existing reservoir.
The work on the spillway overflow weir, placement of rip rap in the spillway channel walls, and placement of concrete to stabilize the hillside below the overlook has been proposed by MUB and was approved by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in 2016.
MUB, or its contractor, will access the site from an existing access road on the Greenbag Road side of White Park. MUB may also access the property from below the spillway, adjoining the private property of an auto dealership. MUB and its contractors will not use the established trails in White Park as an access point. The work may impact the trail to be constructed as part of the installation of the raw water pipeline – generally following a route from behind the Ice Arena, across Cobun Creek, along the Greenbag Road side of the property, crossing Cobun Creek again below the dam, and extending to the end of the city property near Don Knotts Boulevard.
The city understands from MUB staff that these measures are important for the continued safety and use of the dam and spillway in the secondary water supply. MUB is required by City Code to operate and maintain that water supply, and this work on city property is important to serve that purpose. MUB staff have stated that the work is expected to last 3 to 4 months total and will take place in the Fall of 2020 and in the Summer of 2021.
White Park is an important public asset and the community places great importance on the use of this space for recreation. The City of Morgantown is committed to promoting and preserving public uses of the park ensuring that construction activities in the park has minimal impact on community use of the space. The city will monitor access to White Park by MUB and its contractors to ensure that the work only impacts public use as expected and is completed with the least impact reasonable to the park.