Supervisor Janice Rutherford hosted a group of about 200 local residents, county representatives and elected officials to celebrate the completion of the Lake Gregory Dam Improvement Project.
The event, held atop the 80-year-old dam’s crest, began with a donated breakfast and was followed by a formal Lake Gregory Dam completion ceremony that culminated in the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on a giant boulder excavated during construction.
“When the dam was deemed a ‘high hazard dam’ by the State of California Division of Safety of Dams, we knew we had to either fix the problem or drain the lake,” said Supervisor Janice Rutherford, whose Second District includes Crestline and Lake Gregory. “I understood the significance of Lake Gregory to the Crestline community and the County of San Bernardino at large, and knew that seeing this project through had to be a priority.”
The ceremony featured remarks by State Sen. Mike Morrell, Assemblymember Jay Obernolte, San Bernardino County CEO Gary McBride, Lake Gregory Improvement Committee Chairman Rick Dinon, RockForce Construction CEO Jordan Sukut, San Bernardino County Regional Parks Director Beahta Davis, San Bernardino County Special Districts Interim Director Luther Snoke and Mike Pate with Thousand Pines Christian Camp. The ceremonial plaque rededicated the dam, and is now on the crest of the dam as a permanent landmark. The event concluded with the reopening of Lake Drive, which had been closed to motorists since construction began in the summer of 2018.
Special guests in attendance included family members of Lake Gregory developer Arthur Gregory.
“The community of Crest Forest had Arthur Gregory build this lake in hopes of making this area a small resort town,” Davis said. “This project is a huge milestone toward creating ‘A Better Lake Gregory’ for the residents, wildlife and visitors and allows us to continue the vision that this community thought up decades ago.”
The rehabilitation of the dam was made possible by RockForce Construction, Tetra Tech, Griffin Structures and county staff. The county invested $24.6 million into the rehabilitation of the dam
The retrofitting added a 40-foot average thickness earthen buttress to the downstream side of the dam. The rehabilitation was part of the multifaceted Lake Gregory Dam Improvement Project that included the installation of an outlet valve at Huston Creek, clearing of trees and vegetation within the dam, installation of catch basins, dredging of the lake, flashboard installation and road improvements to San Mortiz Way and Lake Drive.