Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and city officials announced today that the construction at the Watershop Dam is substantially complete and the process of refilling the Watershop Pond / Lake Massasoit will begin today, May 16, 2022. The process will take approximately 15-45 days for the water to reach normal elevation levels, depending on weather conditions.
Upgrades to Watershops Dam have included installation of new sluice gates, bascule gate, hydraulic system, control box upgrades and improved modern access to the control system. Construction was completed by Gardener Construction, Inc. and environmental oversight was conducted by GZA. The total project cost was approximately $3.2 million primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development National Disaster Resilience Grant, with $1 million in bond funding from the City of Springfield.
The City of Springfield intends to complete some re-stocking of the pond in partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife upon completion of construction and refill of the pond.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank my dedicated city team, especially our Springfield Parks Commission, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management Patrick Sullivan, Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan, Capital Asset Construction Director Peter Garvey and Director of Disaster Recovery and Compliance Tina Quagliato-Sullivan. Special thanks to Congressman Richard Neal for his continued leadership on the federal level in helping to identify federal funding for this vital infrastructure project. With construction now complete, we can begin the process of returning this beautiful lake to his original and serene atmosphere offering beautiful ascetic quality for our residents, Springfield College and abutting businesses.”
“Springfield has long been on the cutting edge of climate change and disaster preparedness. Since enduring two federally declared disasters in 2011, my administration has adopted a Climate Action and Resilience plan and initiated several programs related to community resiliency,” Mayor Sarno added. “This project meets two goals set by my administration. First, it removes Watershops Dam from the state’s High Hazard category, which also threated our South End and Maple High Six Corners neighborhoods should the dam fail, much like what we did with the repairs to the Lower Van Horn Park Dam last year that threated Baystate Hospital and our Hungry Hill and North End neighborhoods. Additional, this project implemented green energy-efficient measures by installing solar panels at the Brookings School. In the future, this school can be used as an emergency shelter due to electricity produced by the solar panels. Successful implementation of these repairs bring Springfield significantly closer to creating a more resilient community prepared to face the challenges of climate change.”
The City of Springfield will be maintaining a project website and posting updates through completion of construction and refill of the pond. The public may access that website at: www.springfield-ma.gov/dr/disaster-recovery/watershops-pond-/-lake-massasoit-dam-upgrades.
Updates will also be posted on social media at: www.facebook.com/SpringfieldDevelopmentServicesDivision/
Questions or comments should be directed to Tina Quagliato-Sullivan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 750-2114.