Army Corps to repair stilling basin at Foster J. Sayers Dam

Published July 1, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, will begin a $3.2 million effort to repair the stilling basin at Foster J. Sayers Dam in the coming weeks. The dam is currently operational, and this work is preventative maintenance to ensure that it can continue to provide flood risk management to downstream communities for years to come. 

The stilling basin is a feature of the dam that minimizes turbulent water flow out of the dam’s outlet, reducing downstream erosion caused by releases. The upcoming work will address damage that has developed over the course of several years to the basin’s concrete floor and baffle blocks that reduce the power of water as it exits the dam. Damage to the stilling basin could, over time, impact the structural integrity of the dam, which is why the work is being carried out.

The work is being carried out by Cromedy Construction of Philadelphia and is scheduled to begin in early July with completion in spring 2021. 

The project will not impact the dam’s flood risk management operations or recreation at Bald Eagle State Park. The work will impact public access in the vicinity of the stilling basin and associated outlet channel. The stilling basin and upstream section of the outlet channel will be closed to the public throughout the project, and fencing will be installed to ensure the safety of the public and the site itself. After repairs are completed, the stilling basin will remain permanently closed for the safety of the public and to prevent future damage to the area. However, the outlet channel beyond the concrete stilling basin walls will only be closed during the construction phase, and will reopen after the completion of the project.  

Foster J. Sayers Dam, located on Bald Eagle Creek in Centre County, Pennsylvania, is operated and maintained by the Baltimore District for flood risk management. Since its completion in 1969, Foster J. Sayers Dam has prevented more than $233 million in flood damages for downstream communities. 

Christopher Fincham

Release no. 20-016