Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam

Water spills over the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam near Sunbury.

SUNBURY — The Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam is currently being deflated for scheduled repairs, ending the 2021 boating season early.

“We estimate that full deflation will be completed by the end of this weekend,” said Shikellamy State Park Manager Andrew Leidich on Friday. “After this weekend Lake Augusta will be at its winter pool level until the start of the boating season in 2022.”

It’s the third time since 2017 that boating season is ending early due to necessary repairs.

The repair work consists of replacing one of the seven inflatable bags on the dam and is scheduled at this time of year to best take advantage of favorable weather and river flow conditions, said Leidich.

The bag replacement project is anticipated to be completed near the end of October.

The 2,000-foot long inflatable dam creates 3,000-acre Lake Augusta in the Susquehanna River. Boating season on the Susquehanna River starts in May when the bags are inflated. The season ends in late September and the dam is lowered in early October.

Bag 6, the second one in from the Shamokin Dam side, suffered damage in 2019 from multiple high-water events. A thorough inspection revealed premature wear and tear and it was determined that the bag will need to be replaced, said Leidich.

Sunbury City Councilman Jim Eister said the docks along the river in Sunbury were removed last week in anticipation of the shortened boating season.

“It’s a short season,” he said. “We normally have more activities through this month. Any time the season is shortened it’s sad. The river is a very important asset for the people of this area.”

HRI Inc., of State College, brought a large crane in last week and worked with the city Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation to take out the 12-piece structure. The docks are a summer staple since 2012, when the riverfront park was officially dedicated and opened, said Eister.

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