Carriage Park Dedicates Gerald L. Liedl Dam

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The dedication of the new Gerald L. Liedl Dam in the Carriage Park mountainside community on Thursday, April 20, marked an historic occasion for Henderson County, North Carolina: the largest privately owned earthen dam in Henderson County and an engineering first for U.S.

The dedication of the new Gerald L. Liedl Dam in the Carriage Park mountainside community on Thursday, April 20, marked an historic occasion for Henderson County. At a height of 62.5 feet, the structure is not only the largest privately owned earthen dam in the county, it is also the first in the U.S. to be constructed using a Gabion Wall--a system of rock-filled, rectangular-shaped stainless steel baskets--to reinforce the upstream face of the structure.

“The dedication is a momentous occasion for our community,” said Carriage Park General Manager Dale Hamlin. “Our goal was to manage some of the 990 million gallons of rain that fall annually on Carriage Park and create lakeside home sites with a view of the mountains. The project has taken seven years and we are very proud of the accomplishment.”

The primary engineer on the Liedl Dam project was Dan Marks, PhD, P.E., of Schnabel Engineering in Arden. Dr. Marks is renowned in his field, having completed remediation and new designs for over two hundred dams. The steep slope of the watershed and the sensitive habitat presented a special challenge that called upon Marks’ expertise.

“We decided to take a different approach using a Gabion Wall, a time-tested technique,” said Marks. “Historically, Gabion Walls have been used extensively for retention and erosion control. This is the first time in this country that a Gabion Wall has been used to reinforce the upstream face of a dam. The result is greater dam capacity, a reduction of materials needed and an incredibly durable structure.”

The state’s rating of Liedl Dam requires that it contain 22.5 inches of rainfall in a six-hour period, an amount that far exceeds a 100-year storm. Marks designed the structure so that even under such extreme conditions the lake level would still crest one and a half feet below the top of the dam.

Construction of Liedl Dam and Bowing Lake cost approximately $2 million. It now contains the runoff from a 54-acre watershed to form 5-acre Bowing Lake. “Building a solid infrastructure is a top priority at Carriage Park,” said Hamlin. Over the years, we have built a multi-million dollar road system--including a $3 million parkway-style loop road--that meets all state road building and drainage standards. We’ve also built our own fire station which is part of Henderson County’s Mountain Home Fire District. The construction of Liedl Dam is a further extension of our commitment to this community.”

The dam is named in honor of Carriage Park resident Jerry Liedl, PhD, who retired from Purdue University as head of the School of Materials Engineering and moved to Carriage Park in 1999. He is an active member of the mountainside community, volunteering hundreds of hours on behalf of the dam and numerous other projects.

“Jerry works tirelessly to lend a hand whenever and wherever needed,” said Hamlin. “He is a fine man who truly exemplifies the community spirit for which Carriage Park is known. We have named the dam in his honor as an expression of our deep appreciation for all that he has done for Carriage Park.”

About Carriage Park

Carriage Park is a gated, planned residential community nestled in the foothills of the French Broad River Basin in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Its distinctive villages, clubhouse, pool, tennis courts and outdoor facilities are situated along a wooded parkway that circles within the community. Located minutes from shopping, performing arts venues, medical services and the Asheville Regional Airport, Carriage Park combines the natural beauty of Western North Carolina with the amenities of a thriving community. For more information, visit


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Peter Terhorst
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