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Joined: Oct 2020
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How high above the water should the dock cross-members be to protect them from ice upheavals? I am building a pond in NY Fingerlakes and we get ice (liquidsquid has measured over a foot on his pond). I decided to go with cut up telephone poles for the posts, and put about 3' of concrete in the holes which are about 4' below the pond surface. I have see significant chunks of ice pushed up at ice-out on lakes in this area. I don't expect to aerate at the dock. Is this an issue and how high above the water should cross-members be?

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While I have no relevant experience, I have an idea. What if you built it like a floating dock, but but a supporting cross member that the dock rests on is at the level you want when there is not ice. If Ice does happen, the most that will happen is that the dock slides up the telephone poles. This is assuming that the telephone poles will stick up above the dock.

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Texas, thanks for the reply.
This is my first attempt at a substantial pond and I really don't have experience in this area. I think some sort of floating dock would work, but you have to take them out of the water each fall before things ice up. Liquidsquid described how thick ice tore the wooden posts off their concrete footers when the ice thawed along the shore and then the ice around the dock moved, so lateral motion is certainly a concern. Also, any structure in the water is at risk if the water level changes when the pond has ice. My approach is to set substantial posts, in concrete, and keep the cross members out of harms way. I don't know what "out of harms way" implies and I want the dock as low as possible. Just no experience.
Thanks again.

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I use a floating dock, stays in year round. We get a couple feet of ice here, never had a problem.
It rests on fourteen 55 gallon plastic drums. No posts visible, anchored by a pair of double anchor pully systems, that let it go up and down, but keep it centered in location.

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Journeyman,
Thanks for the info. Sounds like a good idea, maybe the round drums get pushed up rather than crushed by the ice? I certainly don't want to drag something in each fall... I'm getting too old for that.

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Just a FYI. We put a dock in a public lake. The house was on the SSW side of the lake, we used 2" galvanized pipes and put them at least 1/3 their length into the bottom of the lake. The cross members were roughly 12" above the highest water mark that the lake ever was. They have been in the lake since the late 1970's with no issues. The pier stays in all year long. The lake has seen ice up to 36" thick.


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