The effort to renovate, repair and strengthen the dam at Langley Pond near Warrenville is 68% complete based on recent construction reports.

“It’s really great to see a project, which was bid upon and awarded over a year ago, still roughly on schedule and on budget like this one,” said Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker. “Even though it took a while to get going, I think we’re benefiting today from the upfront planning. If you do the upfront planning right, the execution should be a whole lot easier.”

The groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held in March 2018. Work is scheduled to be finished in January 2020.

The contractor is Crowder Construction Co., which offered a $13.5-million bid that County Council approved in a resolution.

Schnabel Engineering created the design for the project and is providing oversight.

Leaks in the dam were discovered late in 2014.

County Administrator Clay Killian reported this past February the project was about 35 days behind schedule because of wet weather.

But there have been drier conditions since then, and “they were able to get quite a bit of work done without much interruption back during the May timeframe,” Bunker said.

Bunker visited Langley Pond and toured the project’s site last month.

Much of the efforts lately, Bunker reported, have been focused on the construction of the new labyrinth-style spillway that will replace the old ogee crest spillway.

“They are putting in the rebar and pouring the concrete for the new labyrinth structure that will regulate the water coming through the dam,” Bunker said. “It is protected by a coffer dam that gives them some dry space in which to work. Once that is done and the water can go through the new spillway, they will then build a new cofferdam in front of the part of the old spillway that remains. They will take that (the remaining portion of the old spillway) out and then build a new section of the dam wall there.”

Langley Pond’s dam originally was built in 1854 and primarily was an earthen structure.

Former County Engineering Director Joe Berry, who retired in 2018, told the Aiken Standard that the old ogee crest spillway had been part of the dam since the 1950s.

Langley Pond formerly was a popular site for activities such as rowing competitions and swimming, but it was closed to water sport participants after the leaks in the dam were found.

“I can’t wait to get it back open,” said County Assistant Administrator Brian Sanders, who described Langley Pond as a “gold mine.”

County officials estimate the Aiken area has suffered an economic impact loss of $27,038,000 because of Langley Pond’s closure since 2014.

That figure includes the cost of lodging, fuel and food for Aiken County visitors participating in or watching such events as triathlons and rowing, wakeboard and water skiing competitions.

Prior to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Langley Pond was a practice site for the U.S. Rowing Team.

Langley Pond and its dam are in Langley Pond Park, which is at 113 Langley Dam Road.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.