The Francis E. Walter Dam, constructed in 1961, has prevented more than $220 million in flood damages to the Lehigh River Valley. The dam was built for flood risk management, but recreation became a Congressionally-authorized purpose in 1988. In recent years, funding was used to upgrade roads, upgrade electric, repair cracks in the intake tower, repair concrete on the gravity wall and outlet structure, and grout the dam to address seepage issues.
Flow Management Plan
Since 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Delaware River Basin Commission, and stakeholders from both the nonprofit and private sectors, has employed a collaborative approach to managing flows out of the Francis E. Walter Dam into the Lehigh River.
Subject to the project’s primary mission of flood damage reduction, Francis E. Walter Dam Flow Management Working Group seeks to strike an optimal balance among legitimate yet sometimes competing interests in terms of natural resource management and recreational opportunities. Central to the group’s effort is development each year of a flow management plan that builds upon prior year success while identifying and incorporating areas of potential improvement.
Public involvement is key to the continued success of this program. The public is encouraged to provide us feedback and tell us how we can better serve them through this website. Please check in here regularly for process updates as well as to share your comments, concerns, data, and questions.