NEWS RELEASE: Improvements planned for Panbowl Lake dam

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Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Department of Highways District 10

Jan. 28, 2022

Media Contact: Brenna Angel
C2 Strategic Communications

Improvements planned for Panbowl Lake dam

KYTC holds public meeting to discuss findings of engineering report

JACKSON, Ky.  Plans are under development for infrastructure improvements to KY 15, which serves as the Panbowl Lake dam in Jackson. Officials from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) provided an overview of a recent engineering study of the dam and its recommendations during a public meeting Thursday night.

The most significant of the short-term enhancements to the dam would be a metal retaining wall, also known as sheet piling, driven into the ground to prevent water from seeping through the embankment.

“There is funding in the proposed highway plan that is currently being considered by the General Assembly to install a sheet pile wall at the west embankment this summer,” said Aric Skaggs, project manager for the KYTC District 10 office. “This sheet piling would be a substantial improvement to the overall safety of the dam.”

District 10 personnel have already replaced a debris gate over the standpipe riser in Panbowl Lake and removed vegetation along the embankments. Other study recommendations include:

  • Place rip rap (heavy rock) on embankments
  • Flatten slopes
  • Replace flap gate on the Washington Avenue outlet channel
  • Add a secondary gate
  • Install a new drawdown valve at the east embankment
  • Widen KY 15

KY 15 separates Panbowl Lake from the North Fork of the Kentucky River. It is classified as a high hazard dam and regulated by the Kentucky Division of Water. KYTC requested a hydrologic and hydraulic report and a geotechnical analysis of the Panbowl Lake area and KY 15 in Jackson following last year’s historic flooding.

Seventy-two people participated in the public meeting, which was conducted via Zoom due to concerns related to COVID-19. Meeting materials are available by contacting the District 10 office. A project overview video is available here:

Residents who wish to view project displays in person can schedule appointments to visit the Department of Highways District 10 Office at 473 Highway 15 South, Jackson, between Jan. 31 – Feb. 11. To schedule an appointment, contact Aric Skaggs at the District 10 office at (606) 666-8841 or email

Project information and items presented during the public meeting can be found online at Updates will be posted to District 10’s Facebook and Twitter feeds using the hashtag #PanbowlDamProject.