Constructed in 1909 for Taylor Iron and Steel Company, Lake Solitude Dam consists of an earthen embankment and a masonry spillway with a maximum height of 55 feet. The dam is constructed across the South Branch of the Raritan River with a contributing drainage area of approximately 65.3 square miles. The dam utilizes a thin gravity section supported by buttresses spaced approximately 30 feet on center. Unique in its construction, the spillway consists of a concrete core placed against a stacked masonry façade. The interior of the concrete utilizes a grid of large steel I-beams to assume tensile loads between and within the buttresses. The details of construction are preserved in a 1910 article published in Engineering News.
FPA was retained by the Borough of High Bridge to prepare plans and specifications to rehabilitate the historic dam to meet current Dam Safety Criteria. The primary deficiencies include spillway stability, inadequate hydraulic capacity and inoperable low level outlet. In addition, FPA was responsible for coordinating with various agencies to obtain design concept and final approvals from the NJDEP Bureau of Dam Safety, the State Historic Preservation Office. FPA assisted the Borough of High Bridge with Resident Engineering Services during construction for the $2.4 million dollar rehabilitation project. FPA’s responsibilities included overseeing the installation of the post tensioned rock anchors, reviewing selected submittals and answering the contractor’s RFI’s related to the design.