Observations by the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (NCDENR) in February 2010 indicated that seepage issues and an outdated spillway in the 45-year-old earthen dam had compromised the dam’s safety. With a geotechnical investigation soon underway, design work will begin in the fall. If all goes according to plan, Kleinfelder expects construction to begin following spring graduation, culminating with landscape architecture improvements during summer 2011.

Initially, Kleinfelder’s project scope will include a wetlands study, hydrologic evaluation of the drainage basin, hydraulic evaluation of the spillway, assessing the existing utilities around the dam, developing dam repair alternatives based on the site geology, stormwater runoff control concepts, rainwater harvesting potential and creating concepts for landscape/hardscape amenities to provide meeting areas for students, staff and faculty around the lake.

The lake is named for Dr. Herbert Heckenbleikner, the first biology professor at UNC Charlotte. The goal of the new project is to improve upon Dr. Heckenbleikner’s ideas with a bridge between his original 1960s era concept and future needs of a dynamic university community. Kleinfelder will utilize geotechnical and dam safety engineers, geologists, environmental scientists, structural engineers, landscape architects, and project and construction managers to meet these goals.

UNC Charlotte’s preliminary project budget estimate was $2.5M for dam repair design and landscape architecture improvements, permitting, and construction management.

“This project will strengthen our 20-year history working with UNC Charlotte,” said Mark Terrell, P.E., senior professional at Kleinfelder and Heckenbleikner Lake Dam project lead. “As our first dam project at the university, we see this as a growth opportunity for Kleinfelder’s water division in the Southeast.”