McCANDLESS (KDKA) — It’s been about two years since the last boat set sail on North Park Lake.

The wait to get the first boaters out may take a little while longer.

The explanation? Water levels are still too low.

The $20 million project to dredge the sediment-clogged lake is just about over, but the county says a surprising lack of recent rainfall has left the lake high and dry in spots, especially around the historic North Park Boathouse.

“We hoped for no rain the whole time to keep the lake dry, but now that we’re done, we want some rain to fill it up faster, but we have to let rain take its course in the situation,” said Douglas Aiken with Allegheny County Public Works.

The dry spots notwithstanding, plans are still afoot to celebrate the grand opening on Saturday with LakeFest, a day-long family-oriented event.

Aiken says he expects the LakeFest to go on without a hitch, although the low rain levels may preclude plans to offer canoe rentals.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Gary Higdon, part of the Friends of North Park Lake. The group had been pushing for the dredging. He says the wait will be worth the effort.

“I’m not disappointed because it wasn’t too long ago that the water was all muddy, and it was low, and now it’s filling up and it’s a healthy shade of green but now it’s deep and I can see it’s going to be a wonderful thing.”

The celebration is free and open to the public on Saturday, June 11. For a full schedule of events, click here.

Allegheny County
More Local News