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Work on Lake Overton to address environmental issues, add walking trail

An aerial view of Lake Overton, a body of water located in Henrico County's Fairfield District. Several homes near Three Fountains North and Overbrook Park neighborhoods surround the
Henrico County
Lake Overton located in Henrico's Fairfield District, is part of the Three Fountains North neighborhood and has been in need of major improvements since it was initially damaged during Hurricane Gaston in 2004.

A dam at the north Henrico lake was damaged by Hurricane Gaston in 2004. 

Henrico County will soon begin construction on a new earthen dam at Lake Overton. The $1.5 million in improvements will address long-standing safety and environmental concerns that could impact nearby neighborhoods — and the Chesapeake Bay.

The project is expected to begin in May and is estimated to take about nine months to complete. Construction will include the addition of native plants around the lake, installing erosion protection, water flow enhancements and a walking trail connected to adjacent park grounds.

On Thursday, community members and county officials celebrated the project, located off Wilkinson Road near Three Lakes Park, with a ground-breaking ceremony.

“This is personal for me, because as an adolescent, I spent many of my days in this neighborhood,” Fairfield District Supervisor Roscoe Cooper III said during the event. “This is very exciting for me.”

Repairing the dam at Lake Overton has been a long-standing goal for the county. Since being damaged in 2004 during Hurricane Gaston, it has not met state safety requirements.

Henrico is required to meet goals and standards laid out by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Department of Environmental Quality — including targets to reduce pollutants entering the Chesapeake Bay.

The county’s lowered the lake's water level for repairs as a precaution.

Without the planned improvements, the lake could pose a flood hazard to Three Lakes Park and nearby homes, according to county officials. Roughly 20 homes in two neighborhoods — Three Fountains North and Overbrook Park — back up to the lake.

“I'm proud to continue to help bring projects like this into my district,” Cooper said. “It's a win for the neighborhood and all of Henrico County."

The lake itself is owned by the Three Fountains North Civic Association, which maintained the property before coming to an agreement with Henrico on dam repairs and other environmental improvements.

Ralph Flanagan, a 30-year resident of the Three Fountains North neighborhood, thanked the county and the community for taking care of its natural resources.

“It's a pleasure to be in front of you today to say a few words and my appreciation to the dedication and the working together for years that we have done to get to this point,” said Flanagan.

Terrell Hughes, the county’s director of public works, said the project will help the county meet state regulatory requirements and enhance recreational opportunities in the surrounding area.

“All of these new water quality and pedestrian features fit in with our overall goals,” Hughes said in a written statement. “The county has really put a focus on environmental projects in recent years, and I’m excited to keep that trend going with projects like this.”

Lyndon German covers Henrico and Hanover counties for VPM News.
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