Wild waters: new dam would inundate hidden park
The lower Ragged Mountain dam was called Mayo's Rock Dam when it opened in 1908 as a granite block structure mortared with concrete.
PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER ––->SLIDESHOW
Four hundred feet long and 67 feet high, the lower Ragged Mountain dam stands at the center of the local water supply controversy. Located at the end of a short but steep hike from a parking area at the end of Reservoir Road (just off Fontaine Avenue), it's the centerpiece of a 980-acre natural area that's scheduled to be flooded.
There are seven miles of hiking trails around the two lakes. The park is owned by the City of Charlottesville and, since 1999, managed by trustees of the Ivy Creek Natural Area.
About 180 acres of forest– over 50,000 trees, say opponents of the proposal– would be clear-cut to double the footprint and quadruple the water storage capacity under a plan backed by the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority, which would also construct a pipeline to bring in water from the Rivanna River, 9.5 miles away. [See story beginning on page 22.]