Hardy Dam project for 2019 put on hold

A project involving work to the Hardy Dam in the summer of 2019 has been put on hold. The work has not been rescheduled at this time, but Consumers Energy spokesman Terry DeDoes said officials with the project are continuing to develop a new schedule for work to be completed to the dam by both Consumers Energy and the Newaygo County Road Commission. (Courtesy photo)

NEWAYGO COUNTY — Locals and tourists can look forward to using the Hardy Pond throughout the summer of 2019 as a project which would have required the lowering of the pond has been put on hold.

“There is no longer any project that will require Hardy Pond to be drawn down,” said Consumers Energy spokesman Terry DeDoes.

DeDoes said Consumers Energy previously relayed information to stakeholders about a possible project pertaining to work on the Hardy Dam during 2019; however, there is no longer a scheduled project at this time.

DeDoes explained the project was going to be in coordination with the Newaygo County Road Commission so the pond would only have to be drawn down and roads closed to allow for construction once. This way they could avoid causing a disruption to the area multiple times to allow each entity separate access to the dam.

Newaygo County Road Commission Manager Kelly Smith said a “tremendous amount” of preliminary planning has gone into the project.

“We have been in the planning and design phase for about a year,” Smith said.

Although the project has been postponed, DeDoes said officials involved with the project are continuing to develop a new schedule for the work to begin.

Smith said while the timeline is set by Consumers Energy because the company owns the dam, he hopes the project will be rescheduled early in the year so the road and Hardy Pond are open to visitors as early in the camping season as possible.

According to DeDoes, some of the planned work to the Hardy Dam includes compaction work to support a new road, work on the splash wall and spillway and work to the storm sewer system.

Smith added the road commission plans to replace the surface of the road and hopes to be able to make the sidewalks more pedestrian friendly when the project takes place.

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