Crews digging two new lakes at Hansen Dam are trying to finish the project before the official completion date next April.
Construction of a 1.5-acre body of water for swimming adjacent to a 9-acre lake for boating and fishing is costing $14 million, and would restore what was once a favorite destination for family outings.
"The contractor is doing his best to have them completed two to three months before that," said Ed Louie, project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, which hired Southwest Engineering Inc. of Santa Monica to complete the lakes.
Louie said "rough grade" work is nearly done, involving bulldozing the lakes to within a foot of their final depths. It will be followed by fine grade work, which could start within a month and involves paving the lake beds as well as providing landscaping touches, Louie said.
From the 1950s to the early 1980s, the 120-acre Holiday Lake at Hansen Dam was a popular recreation area for swimmers, anglers and boaters. Major floods caused the lake to fill with silt and sediment, and it was closed in 1982.
In restoring water recreation at Hansen Dam, planners have encountered various obstacles. Initially the cost was $10 million, funded equally by the city and the corps, with the lakes to occupy 15 acres.
The City Council approved reductions in the sizes of the lakes in March and released $4.6 million in Proposition A money from the county for construction because more funding was needed.