The Powhatan Wildlife Management Area in Powhatan County, Virginia is a nearly 4,500-acre recreational expanse used for hunting, fishing and hiking. Within the wildlife management area are two 30-plus acres of adjacent lakes known for recreational fishing and trophy largemouth bass. Severe thunderstorms over time caused the lakes’ upper and lower dams to spill over and fail. Reconstruction was completed within the original downstream footprint to preserve neighboring wetlands. The original spillway stone masonry wall from a mill built in the 1800’s was incorporated into the emergency spillway design for the older upper dam. An existing 1932 vintage concrete retaining wall also was preserved and incorporated into the design of the lower dam. The new dams’ embankments are less steep than the original ones built in the 1850’s and 1930’s, and the shallower slopes will reduce the potential for erosion and lessen the likelihood of future breach by providing greater stability.
The project had a compressed timeline because of funding and permitting deadlines.
Representatives from Whit Fox team coordinated pre-application meetings related to the site’s historic and ecological components with state and federal agencies and executed CWA permitting to authorize the repair, rehabilitation or replacement of structures destroyed in storms.