By Alicia Dziak
For regulars at Allegany State Park, it seems like an eternity since the bridge leading from the Red House main entrance to the Administration Building was closed in order to rehabilitate the dam. The project has closed down the road since last summer, and also included lowering Red House Lake in August so that it has not been accessible to swimmers and kayakers since that time. However, the wait is nearly over, as the dam project is on schedule for a July 6 completion date.
Work on the lake stone embankment and backside earth embankment resumed in May. Spillway apron removal and reconstruction also began in May. Roadway installation work, including the lakeside trail and guiderail, will be completed in June.
According to park manager Tom Livak, “The lake level will be returned to normal pool elevation by mid-June, but the contractor will do everything possible to make it sooner if the weather cooperates and all remaining bridge/spillway/apron items can be completed.”
The lake and lake basin remains closed to the public at this time as concrete work continues on the new bridge and spillway area.
Lake levels are expected to return to normal pool elevation sometime in June, but no date has been set since weather may affect timing.
Due to the unusual weather events of the past few months and potential future weather impacts, it remains unclear whether Red House Lake will be open for swimming prior to the beginning of peak season. Red House Beach will not be open on Memorial Day Weekend. As an alternative for patrons, plans are underway to open Quaker Lake Beach for swimming on Memorial Day Weekend and the weekends following until the beach opens daily for the start of peak season on June 23.
Red House Beach is expected to be open for the beginning of peak season, if not sooner.