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Swimming Area Closed at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

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Michael F. Easley, Governor
William G. Ross, Jr., Secretary

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Swimming Area Closed at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

RALEIGH -- The lake swimming area at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park in Wayne County will not open on Memorial Day weekend as normally scheduled, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

The 11-acre manmade lake is drained annually for routine maintenance, but this year, the drawdown was extended to allow access for an anticipated dam rehabilitation project. The lake level has not sufficiently recovered to ensure the safety of swimmers, park officials said. A limited swimming schedule may be established later in the summer, depending on water level and the availability of lifeguards.

"This winter we delayed the lake refill process in hopes of completing the much needed repairs and there simply hasn't been sufficient time for the lake level to recover," said Park Superintendent Dan Smith. "Although the state bid the repair project in September 2004, the apparent low bidder was eventually disqualified. The state has since negotiated with the next lowest bidder and construction is to begin soon after September 5."

Smith added, "We're going to do all we can to re-open the lake later this summer at least on certain days of the week. What we really need is abundant rainfall to raise the lake to the minimum operating level."

The lake rehabilitation project will include installation of a new drainage system at the base of the lake's dam as well as safety improvements at the boathouse, diving platform and pedestrian approach areas. Federal safety rules require that the lake be drained while the repairs are being made.

The park's concession area will operate on a limited schedule through Labor Day. Normally, the concession area and swimming lake is open from 10 a.m. until 5:45 p.m., from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and lifeguards are provided.