City Officials Announce Planned Decommission of former Ida Lake Dam, Restore Natural Ecosystem on Poesten Kill

For Immediate Release
July 17, 2020

City Officials Announce Planned Decommission of former Ida Lake Dam, Restore Natural Ecosystem on Poesten Kill

Removal of timber dam will restore Poesten Kill to natural state, allows City to explore opportunities to increase public access to site

Engineering assessment identified Ida Lake Dam as structurally unsound

Compromised section of dam was removed in 2019 to protect downstream neighborhoods & properties, alleviate safety concerns in compliance with NYS DEC dam safety regulations


TROY, NY – Department of Public Utilities officials today announced the City will decommission the former Ida Lake Dam, a nearly three-decade old timber dam located on the Poesten Kill near the intersection of Pawling Avenue and Congress Street. Decommissioning of the dam was selected due to ongoing safety concerns and significant costs associated with reconstruction and long-term maintenance of a new dam.

Mayor Madden said, “In reviewing potential options for the former Ida Lake Dam site, it became clear that the most financially and environmentally responsible option was removal. This was a difficult, but necessary decision that took into account reconstruction, engineering, and long-term maintenance costs which present a significant burden for current and future taxpayers. We can preserve the history of the dam while creating new opportunities for Troy residents to experience the beauty of our City. Removal of the former dam will help protect downstream residents, and create a sustainable future for the site with increased public access for outdoor recreation.”

Chris Wheland, Superintendent of the Department of Public Utilities, said, “The Ida Lake Dam has been around for centuries under a variety of iterations and uses, from the industrial revolution as a water and hydro source and more recently as a recreational area. Removal of the dam is the most responsible path forward that will meet current regulations and help support a natural ecosystem. We are committed to recognizing the history of the structure while providing new recreational & educational opportunities for the entire community.”

The Ida Lake Dam was deemed structurally unsound following an emergency engineering inspection in 2018. Removal of the dam will restore the Poesten Kill to its natural state, and allow the City to explore opportunities to increase public access to the site.

In 2019, the City removed a compromised section of the dam to protect downstream neighborhoods and properties, and alleviate structural concerns in compliance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation dam safety regulations.

In April, the City outlined various alternatives for the Ida Lake Dam, including long-term options and associated costs for each at the site of the former dam, part of an open and transparent process initiated by the City. This included the publication of reports and project documents on the City website (below), and a series of public meetings to address community questions and concerns from South Troy, Little Italy, and Mt. Ida neighborhood residents.

For more information on the Ida Lake Dam project, visit www.troyny.gov/mount-ida-dam

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