Major repairs planned for dam at Bays Mountain Park

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) – Officials say a $1.5 million maintenance and repair project is in the works for the dam at Bays Mountain Park.

Interim Bays Mountain Park Manager Rob Cole tells the Kingsport Times News ( that maintenance of the 100-year-old dam will include repairing the mortar, the joints and some of the stepping stairs that support the dam.

The project will be done in three phases, with the first phase set to begin sometime next year.

The dam was completed in 1916 and served as Kingsport’s water reservoir until 1944. The land was then preserved as a nature reserve, known today as Bays Mountain Park.

Cole says the dam is not in failure mode, nor will it be replaced. He says park officials want to preserve a piece of history, calling the dam “a focal point of the park.”