Nick McWilliams reporting – The US Army Corps of Engineers are out at the Zoar Levee, prepping for the final phase of improvements.

The work centralizes on ensuring the levee is in proper working order and meets the appropriate standards.

Project Manager Gregory Jones says that work will be conducted in two areas to prevent decay of the earthen structure.

“That’s an inverse filter that we’re putting in the ponding area. It’s a number of different layers of aggregate that we’re putting in that ponding area. And then the big contract is [near] the ball field reach. And it is a trench, approximately a 20-foot deep trench.”

The trench will help prevent backward erosion piping, which can cause a levee or dam to fail.

The Zoar Levee has seen multiple improvement projects over the last 15 years or so, including emergency work in 2008 with the installation of a filter blanket on the eastern side of State Route 212.

As part of the process, archaeologists are on site digging various trenches to ensure the work will not disturb any historical items or cultural material that could be buried beneath the surface of the soil.

Nathan White, the Corps Huntington District Archaeologist and Tribal Liaison, says that their job entails conducting multiple digs to look for historical items or remnants of former buildings to preserve Zoar during the work.

“We’ve designed this in such a way that we’re going identify any properties or any contributing factors to Zoar Village that might be impacted by any of our construction activities and we’re going to try and avoid them.”

Workers have located small pieces of glass that could be from early Zoar settlers, but it must be sent away for further analysis to determine its origin.

Work is expected around the summer or fall season on 2020.

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