Major improvements are coming to the 65-year old Argyle Lake State Park near Colchester thanks to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The money will pay for repairs to the lake’s spillway, which handles overflow when it rains, and to the water tower, which is used to hold water to lower the lake’s level.
The money was awarded about a year and a half ago. Site Superintendent Robin Hinchee said since then engineers have been drawing the plans and working to ensure the structures will be stable.
“The dewatering tower and the spillway, those are extremely crucial and if those should fail we could lose the dam. Those are parcels of this that have an extreme importance. They are not cheap to build so it’s much easier to repair them.”
The money will also cover the cost to replace:
- 24 docks
- The boat ramp
- Roofs on the shower house, toilets, and shelters
- Lighting around the Shanty Shack II
Hinchee said upgrades to the wooden docks and boat ramp are long overdue. Both will be replaced with concrete structures. The boat ramp will be built 8 feet wide and be extended by about 30 feet to better accommodate boaters.
“There’s a gradient to it with low water a lot of people either bottom out their trailers or get stuck on it sometimes. So we are going to get rid of the severe gradient and extend it so it can be used at all times of the year, high water or low water,” Hinchee said.
The lake will have to be drawn down about 3 feet for the construction work.
Hinchee said each individual construction project will take a couple weeks to complete. He does not expect the work to inconvenience summer fishing or boating activities.
Construction will be handled by Laverdiere Construction Inc. Work is expected to begin within the next few weeks and must be wrapped up by the end of January, 2016.