Posted January 22, 2019
The $110 million, open-air complex will be located at I-69 and 116th Street in Fishers, next to the Ikea furniture store. Dwight Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Before Fishers residents can go splashing and dashing at a public beach and park on Geist Reservoir, some digging and dumping needs to be done first.
And that’s going to take a while.
The city and Citizens Energy plan to dredge 100,000 cubic yards of sediment — or the equivalent of 30 Olympic-size swimming pools — from the bottom of the reservoir near Olio Road and 113th Street and use it for the park’s foundation.
The dredging will cost an estimated $400,000 and could take four years. The Board of Public Works awarded the contract Monday to McCullough Excavating of Banbridge.
The extensive work means the park probably won’t be finished for about five years, though segments of it could open earlier, said Ashley Elrod, a spokeswoman for Fishers.
Citizens Energy, which owns the reservoir, has been dredging the area as part of its regular maintenance for the past three to four years, said Citizens spokesman Dan Considine. About 21,000 cubic yards of sediment are already being deposited for the park. Fishers' own operation will dredge an additional 79,000 cubic yards.
"That area is an inlet where the reservoir starts, and the sediment builds up over the years and needs to be dredged to prevent the water from getting too shallow," Considine said.
The planned park and beach, to be called The Cove, would be the only spot open to the public on the 3-square-mile, man-made lake. The Cove could offer swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, a bicycle trail, fishing pier, a small marina and a look-out tower.
The sediment will provide high-quality top soil for the park, where some structures will be built and trees and shrubs planted, Elrod said. The soil might also be used to build a natural berm that would provide privacy to a nearby residential neighborhood, she said.
The land is just southeast of the bridge over the reservoir on Olio, where Irving Material Inc. has been located for years. The city bought the land last year for $15.7 million after eminent domain proceedings.
Citizens converts the rain water in the reservoir to drinking water for Indianapolis area residents.
On the west side of Olio Road, Citizens has bought a 250-foot deep quarry from IMI and plans to use it as an additional reservoir. The quarry will provide 3.5 billion gallons of water, about half of what Geist holds.
The quarry/reservoir is in the design phase, and IMI is still mining the quarry. Construction on the reservoir could begin in later 2019 and be finished by the end of 2020, Considine said.