The US Kentucky River Authority (KRA) has laid out plans to remove the city of Lexington’s lock and dam no. 9 and oversee the building of a US$17M replacement, reports

Lexington gets its water from the dilapidated century-old dam on the Kentucky river, which needs replacing to avoid a possible reservoir breach.

Raising the dam by about 1.5m was an option explored by KRA, but additional costs of approximately US$20M along with an extended project time of three to five years convinced the authority to rebuild the dam at the same elevation. The new structure should be completed in 2008.

In conjunction with the US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) KRA is also going to rebuild and raise lock and dam no. 10 at nearby Boonesborough State Park, Richmond. Together, dams no. 9 and no. 10 provide water for 500,000 people in central Kentucky.

According to officials, water customers in local areas such as Lexington, Wilmore, Lawrenceburg, Nicholasville, Versailles, Harrodsburg, Lancaster, Frankfort, Winchester and Irvine, along with distilleries and other businesses, will see fees on their monthly water bills increase to pay off the construction debt for the dams.