Lake Lawtonka Dam repairs underway

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The Lake Lawtonka Dam Rehabilitation Project is underway to repair the gates after they were damaged in a storm.

The $2.2 million project is funded by the City of Lawton and FEMA. It will allow each gate to be taken down one at a time to repair damage from a storm three years ago. They expect it to take three or four weeks to repair each gate. The City of Lawton's Director of Water and Waste Water Afsaneh Jabbar said those repairs will stop the gates from leaking.

"The gates themselves, they need to be rehabilitated to have a longer lifetime because if you don't take care or maintain it, then you start losing metal that forms the gate," Jabbar said.

She said the company working on the gates take them to their shop in Bristow, Oklahoma, and clean it, along with a few other things.

"They blast it, and then they will coat it and paint it, replace the seals on the side, on the bottom and if there's any other work that needs to be done to the gate they will perform that," she said.

As for which gate is damaged the most, Jabbar said they won't know that until all the gates are removed and repaired.

People boating or swimming at Lake Lawtonka, won't be affected by the project, but if they like to walk across the dam, they won't be able to do that until the project is complete.

"The wall that we have is not our permanent gate so it's not safe for the public to be close to the dam at this point. It is a precautionary measure but being safe is better than not being safe," Jabber said.

Construction is expected to be completed in November this year if everything goes as planned.

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