FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – It has been a process that has spanned almost two years, but construction crews have now started the improvements to a low-head dam on Cypress Creek in Florence.
The dam was originally built in 1980 to control water levels, so the City of Florence could use the creek as a water source for its residents. But the turbulence on the bottom side of the dam is thought to be the cause of at least two drownings by boaters.
“Cypress Creek is a very good natural resource for us, and this will provide better access, better routing through (the dam), and obviously make it much safer,” explained City of Florence Spokesperson Phil Stevenson.
According to city leaders, they hope the improvements will take-away the dangers that surround the dam. Despite the lengthy process of permitting through federal and state agencies, Stevenson said the timing of the project is coming together perfectly.
“We tried to time everything out so that we are actually doing construction now, which is working out really well. This is the low water time of the year for Cypress Creek.”
City leaders are asking boaters who use Cypress Creek to avoid the dam area until construction is complete.
Improvements to the low-head dam is costing the City of Florence just over one-million dollars.
A Colorado firm, who designs professional kayak courses, performed the architectural work on the project.
Construction is contracted to last 180 days.