Use of the Salem Creek Greenway could be temporarily limited while the level of Salem Lake is lowered in preparation for replacing the Salem Lake Dam.
Hall Contracting Co. will lower the lake by 12.5 feet. The company is using a series of siphons that discharge directly into Salem Creek and increase the flow downstream of the existing dam. It is scheduled to begin today.
This release of water may raise the level of the creek and flood parts of the greenway below the dam and along Salem Creek. Citizens should not try to cross any portion of the greenway that is submerged or otherwise impeded by flowing water because of the inherent risks. Signs have been posted along portions of the greenway.
The contractor expects that it will take approximately two weeks to lower the lake level. During construction, more water may have to be siphoned out of the lake if there are periods of prolonged rainfall. Any further releases could also affect the greenway.
While the lake is being lowered and during construction, citizens should check the Parks and Recreation web site for updates on the status of the greenway.
Lowering the level of the lake will ensure that the lake has capacity to absorb storms without overflowing the construction site. Hall Contracting’s plan for lowering and maintaining the level of Salem Lake meets discharge standards set by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The original dam, built in 1919, is being replaced by a new dam about 100 feet downstream of the current dam. While the new dam is under construction, Salem Lake will be closed to fishing and boating. A portion of the Salem Lake Trail has been relocated and the trail will remain open during construction. The bait shop at Salem Lake will remain open to serve trail users. Contact the bait shop for up-to-date trail conditions, 650-7677.
A map showing the site of the new dam, the relocation of the Salem Lake trail and the impact on the lake is posted below.
Recreation & Parks web site for information.
Salem Lake dam construction area map and information [pdf]
Salem Lake dam construction news [video on YouTube]