Momentous Progress in Lake Lure!

Lake Lure is making significant strides toward our priority infrastructure goals this year.  The Town has hired a full-time Project Manager to coordinate these essential projects including dredging, the dam replacement, and the sewer system replacement projects, among others.  We are very pleased to have Michael Dydula join our Lake Lure staff from Raleigh, North Carolina.  Mr. Dydula is a licensed professional engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and has over 17 years of experience in the field of engineering, construction and project management. 

When asked about his move to our community, he commented, “I am very honored to start working for the Town of Lake Lure on some very unique and complicated projects. I also am excited to relocate to the North Carolina mountains which has been on my radar for many years.” Mr. Dydula will be working closely with our respective engineering and construction firms to coordinate their work activities and ensure that projects are completed within budget and in a timely manner

Dredging: One of the projects that Mr. Dydula is overseeing with our Parks, Recreation, and Lake Director Dean Givens, is dredging.  While the lake is drawn down this winter, the Town is dredging with excavators. This dredging effort will continue in the river portion of the lake while the lake is down.  At the beginning of February, a little over 4,000 cubic yards of material has been dredged since excavation started in January. The Town received a NC Water Resources Development Grant and with the Town’s match, $1,000,000 will be spent in 2023 to continue this critical dredging initiative. 

Preparation for Dam Replacement: One of the Town contractors isSchnabel Engineering.  This firm provides specialized expertise and design for geotechnical, dam, and tunnel engineering projects across the United States and worldwide.  The firm serves as the Town’s engineer for the Dam and will work closely with the Town Project Manager and Public Service Director Dean Lindsey.


This past year Schnabel Engineering developed the design for the reservoir drain at the existing Dam and provided planning services related to bidding and construction of the reservoir drain. The reservoir drain is a North Carolina emergency preparedness requirement as well as a mechanism which will allow the lake to be drawn down 20 feet for future construction projects such as the sewer system replacement project.  When the Town began planning for a dam replacement, the firm provided information which supported the selection of the preferred dam rehabilitation alternative; which is a replacement dam constructed immediately downstream of the existing dam.  Schnabel Engineering has begun work on the conceptual design for the replacement dam.  They have also developed a scope of work for the field investigations required to support the replacement dam design.  This project is expected to take approximately ten years to complete, depending on successful funding.

Sewer System Replacement: LaBella Associates, Inc. is the Town’s “on call” sewer system engineering firm.  In December 2021, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) approved the Subaqueous Sanitary Sewer (SASS) replacement project.  Important concept, planning and design work continued throughout 2022 with LaBella Associates and Ruby-Collins, the selected builder for the project.  Both firms will work closely with the Town Project Manager as well the Public Service Director as this work continues. This legacy project will be constructed in coming years while the Lake is drawn down approximately 20 feet, following the installation of the reservoir drain.  The team began preparatory work in Sunset Cove at the beginning of this year.  This Phase One of the project includes installing sewer sleeves under boathouses.  These sleeves will protect the sewer pipes when the time comes to install these in the future. This initial project provides an opportunity to develop experience with working in the backshore (the area exposed by lowering the Lake) while also making measurable progress.  This initial work is being performed during the winter 2023 drawdown period.

Four Horizontal Directional Drill alignments have been designed and approved for construction; with two crossing under the main body of the Lake from Yacht Island and two crossing under peninsulas (Picnic Point and one other).   Easements are currently being obtained, and these are planned for construction during the 2023-24 drawdown.  These will be critical components of the overall SASS project.

Wastewater Treatment Plant: LaBella Associates, Inc. also began investigating options for a new Wastewater Treatment Plant for the Town.  The new plant is expected to be ready to serve once there are significant flows in the new SASS.  The firm has also begun designing for a new well to be brought online in the Firefly Cove water system.  This is expected to be constructed in early 2023; and will improve reliability and provide greater redundancy.

This high level update illustrates the momentous efforts that are underway to preserve Lake Lure for future generations.  Please stay tuned to the Town News on the website for further updates and an announcement of Round Table Meetings which will provide additional details on these key projects. We value your ongoing support and cooperation as we continue to work together to enhance the Lake Lure community.

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