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Lincoln firm honored for lake improvements on Platte River State Park

LINCOLN, Neb. – A Lincoln engineering firm has won an award for its work on a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission project at Platte River State Park.

JEO Consulting Group of Lincoln received a Water Resources Merit Award in the annual American Council of Engineering Companies Nebraska (ACEC) awards program for its work on improvements at Jenny Newman Lake.

The Jenny Newman Lake renovation project, which was completed in 2016, remedied a deteriorated principle spillway, improved water quality, enhanced angler access and boat launch capabilities, added Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant walks, and created Crawdad Creek, an interactive series of five ponds that feed the lake.

Improvements were completed in phases. A new pipe was installed offset from the existing pipe to restore the principle spillway at the dam outlet. This allowed the existing pipe to be used to divert excess water during construction. In addition, a two-stage riser was installed to allow water levels to be lowered when needed. Crawdad Creek has an isolation/bypass system to fill and drain pools separately for future maintenance access.

Crawdad Creek was the first feature completed as part of Game and Parks’ Venture Parks Complex, which calls for greatly expanded activities and amenities designed to meet the needs of a new generation of visitors at four parks – Platte River State Park, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, and Schramm Park State Recreation Area and Louisville State Recreation Area. Funding for the Venture Parks Complex is provided through a public-private partnership, spearheaded through the Game and Parks Foundation and supported by many generous donors.

Crawdad Creek hosts aquatic invertebrates, insects, reptiles and fish. Park naturalists use the ponds and the organisms that call them home in educational activities for park visitors. The scenic, peaceful setting of the creek provides a place of serenity for park visitors, too. The creek’s flowing water also helps maintain suitable oxygen levels within the lake to foster a healthy fishery.

Construction of Crawdad Creek and the renovation of Jenny Newman Lake were made possible by the Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation, Cass County Nebraska Tourism (visitcasscounty.com), National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund, Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Fund and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Angler Access funds.

ACEC is a nonprofit association of 50 consulting engineering firms throughout the state, serving the public and private sectors. Each February, ACEC Nebraska honors outstanding projects and engineers.

Platte River State Park is located 3 miles west of Louisville, Nebraska on Hwy. 66. A valid park entry permit is required for all vehicles entering the park.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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