The level of the Minsi Lake in Northampton County has been lowered so that repairs can be made to the lake's spillway, officials said Wednesday.
The plan is to replace several small concrete patches and seal the concrete joints and several cracks on the surface of the dam’s concrete spillway, said Eric Levis, of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
The work is tentatively scheduled to be completed in June, after which the lake will be returned to its normal water level, Levis said.
The Department of Environmental Protection regards the dam as high-hazard and unsafe because the spillway is not large enough under current regulations. The potential also exists for property damage and loss of life, should the dam fail, officials said.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission estimates it needs $3.1 million to rebuild the spillway at Minsi.
"There are other high-hazard dams around the state that are experiencing much greater problems than Minsi," said Pa. Rep. Joe Emrick, R-Northampton Co. "Nevertheless, the spillway does not meet current engineering safety standards and ultimately must be rebuilt."
There is no current time table for building a new dam, which would require draining the entire lake and take a number of years to complete, Emrick said.