A Stronger Dam for Lake Williams

Completed Projects, Featured, Projects in Construction, Restoration
Jun 23, 2020

by Kinsley,

Once an ideal space for fishing, boating and enjoying the outdoors, Lake Williams in York, Pennsylvania is in the middle of a multi-phased, multi-year plan to repair its existing dam face, spillway, bridge and utilities.

In addition to maintaining the dam’s integrity, this work will also keep up with dam safety regulations, which have changed since the dam was first built in 1912. York Water Company, who is spearheading the dam rehabilitation project, awarded Kinsley’s Industrial team a contract to:
  • Install an access road and temporary water barrier
  • Remove soils and sediment from the existing outlet pipe opening and headwall
  • Complete concrete modifications to enclose the existing headwall
  • Fabricate and install stainless steel liners in the newly enclosed headwall
  • Remove sections of the existing dam and install cast-in-place concrete grade beams to the top
  • Fabricate and install galvanized steel platforms, which cantilever from the existing pedestrian road over the dam
  • Install sluice gates, operator stems and trash racks provided by York Water Company


Before work to rehabilitate the 252-acre lake’s infrastructure could begin, Lake Williams needed to be fully drained, which hasn’t happened in decades. This required relocating fish and wildlife that would be affected by the construction activities. Once the lake was drained, our crews realized the existing dam presented inherent hazards due to its steep incline and surface, which was often slick from water and moss. A majority of our work required the use of a crane from the existing roadway in order to ensure the safety of the entire project team.

However, weather was the biggest challenge that hit our project. Consistent storms fluctuated the water level – causing delays to the schedule and the removal of equipment, materials and pumps from the work area to avoid damage. The rainfall delayed our original start date from September to October, and even caused the York Water Company to shut down the project from mid-December 2018 to mid-March 2019.

Though the project extended far beyond its original end date, exclusively due to weather, our team worked closely with the York Water Company to maintain quality work, safe job site conditions, and a clean and safe water supply for the community. Ultimately, we completed our work in July 2019, allowing Lake Williams to refill and reopen for recreational activities in August.


While phase one of the Lake Williams dam job is complete, this project is far from over and will require another shutdown and draining of the lake. The York Water Company is currently preparing for phases two and three, which involve replacing the spillway and armoring the dam.

Categories: Completed Projects, Featured, Projects in Construction, Restoration