The dam at Langley Pond near Warrenville has a new, eye-catching feature.
On Aug. 23, a pedestrian bridge was placed over the new spillway that is being constructed for the dam.
The bridge is made of steel and is 197.17 feet long, wrote Aiken County Deputy Administrator Brian Sanders during email correspondence with the Aiken Standard earlier this week.
The bridge wasn’t assembled when it arrived Aug. 19. There were several sections, and they were delivered to the parking lot of the former Bi-Lo supermarket at 2587 Jefferson Davis Highway near Langley Pond.
That store closed in 2018.
The assembly and placement of the bridge was part of the project to renovate, repair and strengthen the dam.
Leaks were discovered in the structure late in 2014.
The contractor for the project is Crowder Construction Co., which offered a $13.5-million bid that Aiken County Council approved in a resolution.
Schnabel Engineering created the design for the dam and is providing oversight on the work, which includes the replacement of the dam’s old ogee crest spillway with a new labyrinth-style spillway.
“Construction of the concrete slabs and labyrinth walls of the dam structure is approximately 75 percent complete,” Sanders wrote.
The latest estimate for the completion date for the entire project is mid-March 2020.
As of last month, it was the end of February.
When the groundbreaking ceremony was held in March 2018, the work was expected to take 18 to 21 months to finish.
The multiple delays since then have had various causes, including weather.
A “major reason” for the most recent setback is the “addition of a sandbar removal sub-project,” Sanders wrote.
Some of the sandbars in Langley Pond are hazardous to boaters.
“It was a timely addition considering the fact that the water is lower than it ever will be again,” Sanders wrote. “(It is) a sub-project well worth an added delay.”
The water in Langley Pond was lowered for safety reasons after the leaks in the dam were found, and it also needed to be lower for work on the dam to take place.
The dam originally was built in 1854. Back then, it was 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 was added to the dam in the 1950s.
Prior to the start of the project to repair, renovate and strengthen the dam in 2018, there was a one-lane road on top of the dam that pedestrians used. It had been open to vehicles in the past.
“The folks that did the original concept for the project didn’t realize the amount of foot traffic that went over the dam,” said Sanders in a telephone interview Wednesday. “County Council recognized that and said, ‘No, we need to have a pedestrian bridge.’ Otherwise, people would be forced to walk on Langley Dam Road if they were traveling on foot between the Highway 421 side of the pond and the Highway 1 side. It (Langley Dam Road) is pretty dangerous for someone to walk down because it is a winding road and there is a big drop-off on both sides for the most part.”