Demolition of Bascule Dam Required, Part of The Codorus Greenway Project

The York County Economic Alliance (YCEA), in partnership with the City of York, will begin demolition of the Bascule Gate Dam on the Codorus Creek beginning tomorrow, December 5, as part of an effort to reduce flooding, improve water quality, promote public safety, and prepare for construction of the Codorus Greenway.

The Bascule Gate Dam is located just downstream from the Philadelphia Street bridge in the City of York’s Codorus Creek. Since 2016, the dam’s gate has been inoperable and stuck in a raised position in which it gathers debris, aggravates flooding, and poses a drowning risk. Since then, the mechanism for operating the dam has further deteriorated, and water has infiltrated the dam control housing. In March 2018, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) notified the City of York that the Bascule Gate was noncompliant with flood control requirements. As a result, the City was mandated to remove the dam.

Meanwhile in 2016, the YCEA and its partners initiated planning for the Codorus Greenway. Removing the dam was one of the recommended actions in the Codorus Greenway Master Site Development Plan.

BrightFields, Inc., a woman-owned environmental remediation company, will complete the work, with York-based Buchart Horn providing construction management and inspection services. The total project cost is anticipated to be $550,000 and is being covered by City of York Rescue Plan Act funds and funding from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.

Demolition is anticipated to be completed no later than April 30, 2024. The precise schedule is weather dependent. The first phase of work will include demolition of a building housing the dam gate mechanism and the construction of a bypass channel to lower the water level behind the dam. The second phase will include demolition of the dam and dam foundation and restoration of the site. Public access to the site will be restricted during demolition and safety signage will be posted.

The waters of the Codorus will be lower, which will expose more debris. YCEA is working with the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper to conduct litter clean ups of the area sometime in the spring.

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