US Army Corps of Engineers
Huntington District Website Website

Bolivar Dam Safety Assurance Work Causes Road and Park Closure

Published July 1, 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Huntington District, announces that Dam Safety Assurance work on Bolivar Dam has begun. This work will require the closure of Bolivar Dam Road and the park near the project office on July 14, 2014, for the duration of construction.

Bolivar Dam Road runs across the length of the dam and will be closed to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic until work is completed in July 2018. The road will open on a limited basis during flooding events when local residents cannot reach their homes otherwise. The park near the project office will also be closed but the fishing area downstream of the outlet structure will remain open.

These closures are due to the fact that the area will be an active construction site and it would not be safe to allow the public to travel through the area during the work.  Playground equipment will be removed from the park and stored.

Bolivar Dam is located in Stark and Tuscarawas Counties, Ohio, on Sandy Creek, a tributary of the Tuscarawas River of the Muskingum watershed. The project is located about one mile upstream of the city of Bolivar and 13 miles upstream of the city of Dover, Ohio. Bolivar Dam is a “dry dam” that only impounds water during flood events.

The purpose of this construction is to address problematic seepage at Bolivar Dam. During historical flood events, excessive seepage has been observed through the dam foundation.  Action is needed because the uncontrolled seepage could negatively affect the structural stability of the dam, resulting in increased risks to the downstream public. Failure of Bolivar Dam could lead to the failure of Dover Dam downstream. This would cause risk to over 28,000 people and cause billions in damages.

This work will involve the construction of a partial-depth seepage barrier through the upstream slope of the dam embankment and drilling and grouting along the left abutment of the dam. These measures have been designed to limit seepage under and around the dam.  The work is expected to take up to four years to complete.

For more information, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 304-399-5353.


Public Affairs
502 Eighth Street, Huntington, WV 25701

Release no. PA 14-28