The Department of Natural Resources will begin immediate work to replace Buckeye Lake Dam, which was recently found to have serious structural deficiencies, Gov. John Kasich announced Thursday. According to the governor's office, ODNR will begin the necessary permitting and design work for the structure. A US Army Corps of Engineers report released last week highlighted the dam's structural issues, as well as options for reducing public safety risks in the event of a catastrophic failure. Gov. Kasich stressed that the safety of Ohioans in the inundation zone will remain a priority in the process. "The Corps report clearly tells us that we have reached a point in time at which lives are in jeopardy and our priority must be protecting those people in harm's way," the governor said in a statement. "Buckeye Lake will remain a special place for many Ohioans and our intention is to save the lake and preserve this unique community."
ODNR Director James Zehringer indicated that the agency's prepared to release a Request for Qualifications, saying the state "will put in motion the processes necessary to build this dam." "These are complex structures and with lives and livelihoods at stake, putting off tough decisions only creates additional problems in the future," he said in a release.