4 years later, Lake Delhi restoration begins with $17 million project
DELHI (AP) — Looking out at the backhoes working in the distance, across the void that had once been Lake Delhi, was something of a surreal experience for Greg Bandfield
“It’s hard to believe something’s actually happening,” he said.
It was a feeling undoubtedly shared by many of the 100-plus who joined Banfield today near the empty lake bed. Nearly four years since it was drained, area residents and taxing district leaders celebrated breaking ground on a new structure that will restore the manmade lake.
“It’s been a long process going through all the government agency permitting processes and working with the key stakeholders, but we’re here,” said Steve Leonard, president of Combined Lake Delhi Recreational Facility and Water Quality District. “This is a fantastic day for our community.”
The first phase of construction is underway, with contractors beginning work on a new concrete dam. Once the Iowa Department of Natural Resources signs off on a building permit, the second phase – the installation of a spillway – can begin.
The project is expected to cost up to $17 million.
A series of brief but powerful rainstorms in July 2010 led to flash flooding throughout Delaware County.
The inundation proved too much for the dam holding back Lake Delhi. An earthen embankment around the dam gave way, emptying the lake’s contents out into the watershed.