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Construction, General

Reservoirs (Flood Control)

PROJECT: Union City Lake, Pennsylvania (Continuing)

LOCATION: The reservoir is located in Erie County, northwestern Pennsylvania, on French Creek, a tributary of the Allegheny The dam site is located 24 miles upstream from Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, and 41 miles upstream from Meadville, Pennsylvania.


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1/ Initial cost only.

$ 7,051,000

Estimated cost to include ultimate recreational development is $29,100,000 (Federal $22,204,000; Non-Federal $6,896,000)

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Side-channel, uncontrolled

Capacity (Design Flood) - 62,700 cu. ft. per sec.
Outlet Works:

Lower Concrete conduit, uncontrolled, 8.0 feet high by 4.5 feet wide with 1.0 foot fillets.

Gated intake tower to provide seasonal pools. Uncontrolled slot 9.5 feet wide in spillway weir. Ohio River

Upper Division:



Roads: 8.5 miles

Cemeteries and utility lines



46,302 acre-feet

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Lands and Damages:


Acres 4,755; Type

Typical farm and residential units. Predominantly agricultural; Improvements The French Creek Basin, located in the southwestern part of New York and the northwestern part of Pennsylvania, drains an area of 1,235 square miles into the Allegheny River at Franklin, Pennsylvania. The population of the basin is approximately 86,000. Principal population centers, which are subject to flood damage, are Meadville, Franklin, Sugar Creek Township, Union City and Cambridge Springs. Industries include farming, manufacture of metal products, textiles, chemicals, furniture, food processing, petroleum refining, and repair shops. Since 1942, eleven major floods were experienced in the basin. The flood of April 1947, the maximum natural flood condition, resulted in the highest stages attained in the upper French Creek Basin, with moderate stages experienced in the lower portion of the basin. An estimated 7,600 acres of developed rural and urban land were affected. Primary flood damages in the amount of $7,049,000 would result from a recurrence of the April 1947 flood. Of this amount $5,053,000 would be prevented by operation of the French Creek reservoir system, July 1973 values.

The authorized system of 3 reservoirs (Union City, Woodcock Creek and Muddy Creek) would afford an effective and economical
measure of flood protection to the principal damage centers in the French Creek Basin, and would supplement the protection
afforded by other flood control reservoirs in the valleys below the basin.

Union City Lake would provide about 59 percent of the annual flood control benefits creditable to the system.
annual benefits are estimated at $2,896,400.



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The requested amount of $800,000 will be applied to:

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The requested funds are required to continue acquisition of land for the conservation pool and continue engineering and
design for recreation development.

Union City Lake, Pa.



NON-FEDERAL COST: Local interests are required to inform affected interests in the French Creek Basin at least annually, that the system of reservoirs of which Union City Lake is a part will not provide protection against maximum floods. cost of this is considered to be minor. Also, in accordance with Public Law 89-72, Federal Water Project Recreation Act, local interests are required to bear one-half of the separable costs allocated to recreation, presently estimated at $3,546,000, exclusive of interest, and bear all cost of operation, maintenance and replacement, at an estimated cost of $115,200, annually.

STATUS OF LOCAL COOPERATION: On 10 November 1964, the Department of Forests and Waters of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania furnished formal assurances of local cooperation in respect to notifying local interests at least annually that the system of reservoirs will not provide protection against maximum floods. By letter dated 7 May 1971, the Commissioners of Erie County, Pa. stated their intention to participate in the recreation development of the project in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Water Project Recreation Act of 1965. Discussions are continuing with representatives of Erie County

on the recreation development and cost sharing contract.

COMPARISON OF FEDERAL COST ESTIMATES: The current Federal cost estimate of $22,400,000 is an increase of $800,000 over the latest estimate ($21,600,000) submitted to Congress. This change reflects increases of $678,000 for price level rise, $114,000 for Engineering and Design and $88,000 for Supervision and Administration based on reanalysis of requirements offset by a reduction of $80,000 on the dam and relocations based on final contract costs.

BENEFIT TO COST RATIO: The benefit to cost ratio last presented to Congress (FY 1974) was 2.5 to 1. The current benefit to cost ratio is 2.5 to 1. The ratio is based on Union City Lake being allocated a proportionate share of the benefits of the 3 reservoir system in the French Creek Basin; and, as the next added project to the Ohio River System following projects complete, under construction and in advanced planning stage as of 1964.


The Draft Environmental Statement for the establishment of a conservation pool
and the construction of recreation facilities was filed with CEQ on 8 December 1972. The Final Statement is scheduled
for submission in the third quarter FY 1974.

FY 1965.

Funds to initiate preconstruction planning were appropriated in FY 1963, and for construction in

The originally authorized dry-bed reservoir project is complete.

The modified project to provide for a conservation pool

and addition of recreation facilities has not been started pending consummation of an agreement with Erie County for cost
sharing in accordance with Public Law 89-72 and filing of a Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Union City Lake, Pa.

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