Lake Lawtonka dam repairs to start this summer

LAKE LAWTONKA, OK (KSWO) - Nearly 3 years after flooding damaged part of the Lake Lawtonka dam, the repairs are scheduled to start this summer. As soon as the start of June, the dam will be under construction as the gates on the Lake Lawtonka dam get fixed one by one. We reported in July of last year the plans to repair the dam gates.

The city is in the final week of approving plans and designs for the parts needed to fix the gates. As soon as those parts are manufactured, they will be sent to the dam where repairs will begin this summer.

Lawton's Water and Wastewater director Afsaneh Jabbar said each gate will get their repairs one gate at a time.

"They will put in another gate and pump the water between the two gates, and then remove the gates for replacing the stems," Jabbar said.

Damage from the floods in 2015 left two of the gates with mechanical problems, but all of the gates will get seal replacements to prevent water from leaking out as well as a special coating to prevent wear and tear.

"We know that the seals are leaking because they are very old. They were last replaced in the 1980s," Jabbar said. "Every so often you have to replace seals to make sure that there isn't so much leakage."

Jabbar said this $2.2 million project, with some funding coming from FEMA, could take about 5 months to complete. Because construction will start during the lake's prime tourism time, Jabbar said visitors will see some large equipment out on the dam.

"Whenever we move one of the gates outside for the coating that's the time that they will see any truck movement. But of course they will see the crane that pulls out the gate," Jabbar said.

With the project estimated to take about 5 months, all repairs should be completed by the end of this year.

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