. – Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) announced today that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will move forward immediately with the initial geotechnical study to restore Hereford Manor Lake, which was drained in 2012. Bernstine has secured $150,000 for the study, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Hereford Manor consisted of two popular lakes that were formed by dams created from old strip mine materials in the 1950s. These dams were considered high-hazard, unsafe and were eventually removed. Restoration of this facility will require new construction to meet current dam safety standards.
“The lake is not only important to anglers, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts, but it’s also a key component to our local economy,” said Bernstine. “Improvements made to the facility will help to grow business and employment opportunities in our region. Studies show opening Hereford Manor would create $12.4 million in annual economic activity.”
A geotechnical study involves the excavation of the area in which the dam will be constructed. Using a drilling rig, samples of soil and rock will be collected and analyzed to determine if the area offers a suitable, natural foundation. In addition, the surrounding area will be surveyed to determine if suitable soil and rock resources are present that may be used in the construction of the dam.
The value of a geotechnical study can be realized in cost savings if both a solid foundation and plentiful soil resources are located on the construction site, limiting the need to import other materials for construction. The study, including the employment of contractors and consultants to perform excavation, sample collection and analyzation, is expected to last approximately four months.
“This is a huge win for us, but we are not done by a long shot,” said Bernstine. “We have more than 13,000 signatures asking for the lake to be restored. It used to be the No. 1 trout fishing lake in Pennsylvania and possibly in the entire northeastern United States.”
To continue the effort to restore the lake, Bernstine has talked to Gov. Tom Wolf about releasing already-allocated capital budget funding to help with the costs associated with the construction of new dams at Hereford Manor Lake.
Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)