The playground at Cold Stream Dam Recreation Area hasn’t had kids swinging or sliding for a while.
That may change soon.
The dam itself has been undergoing a construction project since 2015. Planning for the $2.3 million undertaking has been ongoing since 2009.
When the project began, it shut down access to the playground, its picnic pavilions and the parking lot, as well as the fishing along the banks.
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But now, officials say the work is largely done. The area is still cordoned off, however.
“People want the playground opened,” council member Harry Woods said at Monday’s meeting.
Borough Manager Joel Watson said that will take a little more work. In addition to moving back the fencing to allow access to some areas, the borough needs to make sure that other areas around the still-emptied dam and the footbridge that goes across the spillway. There is also the issue of a thorough cleanup of random metal and other debris from the construction that may have gotten into the playground area.
The last steps in the project, which was meant to bring the dam into compliance with state Department of Environmental Protection requirements, involve dredging the acre or so of material at the bottom of what now looks like a kind of messy, slightly flooded field. Watson said all permits for the dredging are in hand and about two weeks of work remains at the site.
“We’re just waiting on the weatherman now, after waiting on everything else,” said council member Sam Womer.
The area has to be dry enough, and the forecast has to promise rain-free days in order to do the dredging. When that’s done, the final steps of concrete work and grading can be finished, but council member John Knowles said that might not happen until August.
“Kids can do a lot of playing between now and then,” he said.
Council decided not to rent the pavilions until the recreation area can be completely re-opened, but Watson said the playground area will be readied “as quick as we can.”