PROMPTON -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state officials celebrated the new improvements and a new facility at the Prompton Dam in Wayne County Wednesday. The completed project will better protect several communities including Honesdale and Hawley from flooding.
"It`s going to reduce the risk of flooding downstream. It's going to protect those three counties I mentioned earlier as well as the properties and the businesses and the livelihoods of all of the people who live there," said Assistant Secretary to the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Prompton Dam project included raising the wall across the dam, widening the spillway, and then building a new operating facility, but for the past year and a half. Park Manager Dustin Drew said it's created some hassles.
"Unfortunately for safety concerns, a lot of this area was closed off for the construction and that affected recreation here," said Drew.
Some fishing tournaments were canceled due to a lack of parking and the main trail access point was blocked off.
Now with the dam project complete, it will be easier for people to access the 23 miles of trails that surround Lake Prompton, and they`re hoping to draw more people in to the state park.
The Friends of Prompton State Park, a volunteer organization that cares for the trails, put up more signs and 'GPS-ed' all of the trails when access was limited.
Many who enjoy the state park already said the dam completion enhances the area, and the fishing is consistently good.
"I think it provides, actually, a better water source. It`s calm, it`s protected, there`s not a lot of rushing water so I think it actually adds to the fishing," said Tom Gershey from Lake Ariel.
Officials said it's a multi-million dollar project that's helping Wayne County in more ways than one.