Support beams for bridge deck being set at Lake Holiday

Posted: October 4, 2012

The Winchester Star

Workers from C. William Hetzer Inc., of Hagerstown, Md., guide a 23-ton concrete beam over the spillway at the Lake Holiday Dam. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
A worker with C. William Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown, Md., keeps an eye on a 23-ton concrete beam being lowered into place at the spillway bridge at Lake Holiday. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

LAKE HOLIDAY — Crews today are expected to finish setting 10 massive concrete beams as part of the repairs to the Lake Holiday Dam spillway.

The 60-foot beams, which each weigh about 23 tons, will support the new bridge deck that will connect homes on the southern side of the lake to those on the northern shore, said Joe Wilder, deputy director of the Frederick County Public Works Department.

“We built the new [spillway] and walls for holding back water, and that’s what project is all about,” Wilder said in a phone interview Wednesday morning.

“[Residents] have to have a road built and we can’t lay the deck without beams being set.”

Crews placed five beams Wednesday and are scheduled to place the remaining five today. Because of the size of the beams and the precision needed to place them, it can take about two hours to set each beam, Wilder said.

While the project isn’t scheduled for completion until February, setting the beams is a significant part of the work.

“From a visual standpoint, it signifies the project is close to being finished,” Wilder said. “Now that the bridge is being built, people will realize project is close to being complete.”

Residents on the southern side of Lake Holiday have had to use a temporary road — built at the start of the project — to connect the approximately 85 homes in the area to Ebenezer Church Road, which connects to North Frederick Pike (U.S. 522). That has been, and will be, the only road access to that side of the lake while the project is ongoing.

Dave Buermeyer, president of the Lake Holiday Property Owners Association, has lived at Lake Holiday with his wife for about 12 years. In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, he said that the county has done a good job managing the project, but that residents will be happy when it’s finished.

“I think everybody’s really excited about it, now you can really see the progress right in front of your eyes,” he said. “We’re all pleased it’s coming together and the south-siders will be really happy to see the project completed. “[Project completion] will be a big relief. There have been an awful lot of concrete trucks delivering a massive amount of concrete. It’ll be nice to have that over.”

A new dam was needed after inspectors with the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Dam Safety Division determined several years ago that the old spillway could collapse during a major rain event.

A $9.25 million, 20-year loan is being used to finance the project. Wilder said the project is proceeding both on time and on budget with the date of substantial completion set for Feb. 23.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at