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Butler Lake dam repairs to close road for 30 days

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By Jeff Moore

The road over General Butler Lake dam will be closed for about 30 days this fall for a project to repair a pipe that controls water levels.

During this time, visitors at General Butler State Resort Park will have to use the back entrance on 11th Street in Carrollton to access the lodge, restaurant, golf course and conference center.

In a Monday interview, Kentucky Department of Parks spokesman Gil Lawson said the project will begin in late September to repair a 24-inch pipe in the dam that is collapsing.

The road to the lodge crosses the dam just past the mini golf in the park. To repair the pipe, Lawson said crews will have to dig up the road and into the dam during the project. The date for the road closure will be determined closer to the start of the project, he said.

“We have to fix it,” Lawson said. “If the pipe collapses, it will cause other problems in the dam.”

The lake will have to be lowered for the work on the dam, as it was for work last year. This means the floating pier that includes a handicapped access ramp that sits near the roadside off Hwy. 227 will have to remain out of the lake. “Unfortunately, this is aresult of the water level,” Lawson said.

The pier was removed in 2012 when initial repairs to the dam began.

Lawson said the park remains busy in September and October, especially in the campgrounds. However, he noted activities on the water do decline during this time period.

“We can’t do this just any time of the year,” he said. The weather and temperatures have to be right to perform the repairs to the dam.

The state parks department estimates the dam repairs will cost about $118,000, Lawson said.

When the road closes for the work in late September, it will mean all traffic going to park amenities on the hill will detour around to Gillock Avenue, to 11th Street and in the rear entrance next to the Historic Butler-Turpin House.

But those using the campgrounds and cabins will have a temporary entrance just past the lake off Hwy. 227. Lawson said there will be a gravel road for access for campers, RVs and those using the campground facilities.

Signage will be installed to direct the traffic during the project.

Large trucks that deliver to the park will be directed to use the temporary entrance to the park off Hwy. 227.

State parks officials will create a map to help direct the flow of traffic during the project.

Visitors will still have access to the lower area of the park from the main entrance off Hwy. 227, leading to the veteran’s memorial, the mini golf and the pavilions and picnic areas.

The entire dam repair project is expected to take 90 days to complete, Lawson said.

But more repairs are being planned there next year.

Lawson said the spillway on the dam needs some work. At that point, he said, the lake levels will have to be lowered again.

The Butler Lake dam was originally constructed in the 1930s, Lawson said. It has gone through some updates and repairs through the years.