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November 23, 2012

Land acquisition nearly complete for Duck River dam

CULLMAN — After more than a year of work, property acquisition for the Duck River dam is nearly complete with just two properties left to be purchased.

The City of Cullman utilities board, with the cooperation of Cullman County and other area water systems, is creating a 640-acre lake with a 32-million-gallon-per-day capacity in the Duck River watershed.

The project is estimated to cost $68 million, and once complete it will be used in conjunction with the area’s current sole water source Lake Catoma.

Phase I of construction is currently underway with Birmingham-based contractor Brasfield & Gorrie. The next two phases will include dam and spillway construction and the raw water pipeline.

A total of 83 parcels making up 1,121 acres are needed for the full scope of the project.

By the end of this month the utilities board plans to close every property except for two.

“I’m excited to announce that we are nearly finished with property acquisition,” dam project coordinator Susan Eller said. “Once those last two properties are complete we’ll have the entire project acquired.”

A long-delayed cultural resources survey was recently completed at the site, and officials say they’re now awaiting the results of the study done by the University of Alabama.

“They are absolutely finished and I’ll be getting a schedule soon for their final report,” Steve Newton, with project engineer of record CH2M Hill, said.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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