Greenbelt Lake expected to be filled by Fall Festival
By Iva Butler | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Greenbelt Lake sluice gates were closed Wednesday to start refilling the lake, just in time for the three-day 13th Annual Foothills Fall Festival that starts Friday.
The dredging operation, including installing rip rap around the lake with water plants and a weir to catch sediment, is 99 percent complete, said Maryville Director of Engineering and Public Works Angie Luckie.
“All that is left is for the new vegetation to grow,” she added.
ES&H of Knoxville performed the $3,047,260 project under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Dredging the lake began Feb. 11, a project that involved removing about 40,000 cubic yards of sediment. The sediment was dried, then loaded into dump trucks and deposited at the Blount County Public Landfill, where it was used as cover.
Costs broke down to $1,066,541 from the city, of which $662,541 was a cash share and $404,000 was in-kind services. The city share included credit for lands and easements it contributed to the project, such as allowing construction access on city property.
Weir catches sediment
A weir straddles the lake at the Greenbelt Trail pedestrian bridge. The weir is a high point in the lake that will slow the normal flow of the water, allowing sediment to drop out in the upper section of the lake, except in times of high water. When sediment again needs to be removed, the city can concentrate on the upper portion of the lake.
Water for the lake comes from two creeks. Pistol Creek flows through the Greenbelt from behind the Courthouse and goes under Harper Avenue before entering the lake. Browns Creek runs underneath Veterans Memorial Bridge and Parham Avenue before flowing into the lake.
The shoreline has been cut off and lined with rip rap to stabilize the banks.
From the shore to 6 feet into the lake, the water drops off 1 foot. From there it drops off to about 8 feet deep.
The 6-foot area out from the banks where the water is shallow has been planted with vegetation.
Luckie does not think the fountain will be functioning for the Fall Festival weekend.
Hopes are the lake will provide an improved fish habitat. City officials plan to consult Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency agents about what type of fish to stock in the lake.