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Barriers, something Clark said the DNR hasn’t considered but might, have been erected around spillways at a number of lakes nationwide.
In Illinois, barriers have been added at Lakes Shelbyville and Carlyle in the past few years. The lakes are among the more than 400 across the country owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The barrier at Shelbyville, an 11,000-acre lake about 30 miles southeast of Decatur, was added a few years ago for $57,000, said Alan Dooley, spokesman for the Corps of Engineers St. Louis District.
Signs on the lake had long warned boaters and others to stay at least 600 feet away from the spillway that empties into the Kaskaskia River, Dooley said.”
You do want to provide that additional, I guess you’d call it a passive safety measure,” he added.
The Shelbyville barrier was built by a New Jersey company, Wave Dispersion Technologies Inc. It’s essentially a long cable held on the top of the water by tightly spaced plastic floats.
At $200 to $250 a foot, company owner Dennis Smith said the barriers provide both security – blocking access to anyone who might want to damage or destroy a dam – and safety.
“Usually the dams just need a barrier where something won’t float over it if (their boat is)
disabled,” Smith said. “It’ll stop somebody from drifting over.”