Dredging project will leave Atascadero Lake cleaner, deeper

A soil compactor is used Wednesday to prepare Atascadero Lake for dredging.
A soil compactor is used Wednesday to prepare Atascadero Lake for dredging. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Crews are undertaking the second half of a dredging project to scrape dried muck from the bottom of Atascadero Lake.

The project, slated to begin this week, is designed to remove an additional 15,000 cubic yards of sediment by using vehicles with scraping equipment, making the lake deeper by about two feet. Hauling off the many years of accumulated bird feces, sediment and dead plant life is intended to make the city-owned lake cleaner when the rains return.

The Atascadero City Council agreed at its Sept. 23 meeting to use city reserves to fund the project.

The $287,000 contract is with ABI General Engineering Inc. of Paso Robles. If there’s time, the council also authorized $114,800 more be spent to remove an additional 8,000 cubic yards of sediment, city officials said.

The project will pick up where the city left off last fall, when it spent $70,000 on emergency dredging at the lake's south end.

The city had been waiting on permits from several government agencies that have jurisdiction over the watershed to seek council approval and begin the work.

Oct. 31 is the deadline to complete the second phase. Crews will target the middle portion of the lake and move toward the lake dam. The job will wrap up near the front of the Pavilion on the Lake.

Residents will notice increased traffic and intermittent road closures on Lakeview Drive and on Templeton Road during the project, and are asked to use caution.

For more information, call 470-3180 or email dpatterson@atascadero.org.