Fort Drum begins repairs to dam in LeRay Mansion District

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Jul. 9—FORT DRUM — The Fort Drum Directorate of Public Works began repairs last week to a damaged dam at the heart-shaped pond in the LeRay Mansion District, the military post announced Friday.

Laurie Rush, cultural resources program manager, said that archeologists are needed because there are potential artifacts in the deposits from the original construction.

"Any time there is ground disturbance in the district, we try to have at least one archaeologist present," she said in a press release.

"Pretty much everybody in Public Works is on board with this project," said Public Works Project Supervisor Jeff Semrau.

They could not completely drain the pond because draining it would create an ecological disturbance.

Mr. Semrau said that they put in a drainage pipe to divert the water around the dam. They then continued to build a cofferdam, which he describes as "basically a wall of plastic sandbags," which helped keep the area dry.

Carpenters and masons will begin early next week to cut away the damaged materials from the dam, and then rebuild and pour new concrete into the structure.

Mr. Semrau said in a press release that "the dam has been failing for years now, and the project has been talked about for a number of years."