RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The Raleigh County Parks and Recreation started the ongoing construction of the Lake Stephens Dam and Marina last fall as part of the Dam Rehabilitation Project. Now that construction is finally finished, they’re welcoming in visitors to a new season of fishing, kayaking, and more outdoor fun in the area.
“Most of the work that we did was required by the DEP to bring the dam up to safety standards,” says Molly Williams, Executive Director of Raleigh County Parks and Rec. “The dam itself was fine, there were no issues with the dam, but their standards changed and we just needed to be more updated with that.”
Most of the changes were completed at the beginning of this year, and everything was officially finished by April 29. The construction included the placement of a berm on one side to increase the crest of the dam and to protect against waves, making adjustments to the arches of the spillway for increased protection against heavy rainfall, and paving the parking lot.
“This is something that they have been working on for several years now and we were able to finally go through with it and raise the money,” Superintendent of Lake Stephens, B.J Pritchard, says. “The whole project overall was a little over half a million dollars that the board and the county had spent on redoing all of this.”
Apart from a few more minor changes, everything is now finished and ready for use as of May 1. The dam is open for bank fishing and kayak launching, while the marina is open for launching motorboats. Needless to say, everyone is happy the project is done just in time for a new season at Lake Stephens.
“It feels great to have this all completed,” Pritchard says. “It will make it really nice for our visitors to come down and just enjoy the area. It just kind of freshens everything up.”