A comment period for this project closes May 15, 2021:
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Sope Creek Dam

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area » Sope Creek Dam » Document List

A dam built in 1954 impounds an unnamed tributary that flows into Sope Creek and forms Sibley Pond within the Sope Creek-Cochran Shoals unit of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The Sibley Pond area receives high visitation and is a focal point for educational and interpretative programs as well as a starting point for mountain bikers and visitors hiking throughout the unit.

The dam at Sibley Pond is an earthen embankment 25 feet tall, and the original service spillway was a metal pipe extending through the dam connected to a vertical riser in the pond. The park modified the dam in 1995 in response to an evaluation report that found a risk of failure during a high flood event. The 1995 modifications included lowering the height of the water to complete the work, plugging and removing a portion of the original service spillway, and adding a concrete weir wall to serve as a new primary spillway for the dam.

Another inspection in 2006 identified some erosion forming on the left joint abutment of the dam and in 2012 erosion was discovered near the service spillway. Park staff continued monitoring the erosion and in 2017, met with engineers to discuss options for repairing the dam and stabilizing erosion. No specific measures were implemented. Since then, the park has continued to monitor the site and will complete an updated assessment of the dam in Fall 2021. Following the assessment, the park plans to develop a comprehensive dam modification project to address any noted deficiencies. Based on previous assessments, some of the potential modifications could include re-establishing a primary spillway through the structure and restoring function, stabilizing the head-cut and secondary spillway and maintaining the existing dam structure, or removal of the dam with ecological restoration of the landscape.

Prior to initiation of any project in this area, please assist Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area with providing input to specific questions to help us identify what is important about this part of the Sope Creek-Cochran Shoals unit, including what experiences and opportunities the park should offer, and what concerns you think should be addressed when we begin planning for the dam modification project.

Contact Information

Beth Wheeler Byrd 404-803-7641