TRAVERSE CITY — Brown Bridge Dam is gone.
Major deconstruction work wrapped this week on the much-watched dam removal project on the Boardman River, leaving behind only a large earthen embankment and a free-flowing stream.
"It's awesome to stand here," said Frank Dituri, chair of the Boardman River Dams Implementation Team, as he urged bystanders on Friday to go to overlooks near where the dam used to stretch.
"Come back to the river, and watch the river," Dituri said.
The wrap up of deconstruction comes a little more than three months after a major gaffe in the project caused extensive flooding to riverfront properties. An Oct. 6 breach of a construction device at the dam sent most of the Brown Bridge Pond cascading into the Boardman all at once, terrifying homeowners as the river rose several feet in a matter of minutes.
At least 54 properties were damaged.
The dam was built in 1921 for hydropower generation and was owned by Traverse City Light & Power. It was decommissioned in 2005, then removed this year as part of a long-term plan to demolish three dams on the river and return the Boardman to its natural state.
More river restoration will be done in the spring, but the majority of the Brown Bridge project is now complete, Dituri said. The removal cost $4.2 million, including design, permitting and construction.
The project restores 1.5 miles of cold water trout stream, 13 acres of wetlands and 25 acres of upland habitat.
Chuck Lombardo, spokesman for the Implementation Team, said the Brown Bridge Dam demolition involved 21,270 man hours and the removal of 260,000 cubic yards of sediment.
That amount of sediment would be as tall as a 10-story building a football field wide.
"The dam structure is gone, and the heavy lifting is done," Lombardo said.
A cause of the Oct. 6 flooding is still under investigation by the Michigan Dam Safety Unit. A final report identifying the cause is expected by spring.
"We wish it never happened," Lombardo said of the flooding. "(But) to infer that this was somehow a failed public works project that's going to harm the taxpayer — that's not correct."
The impact of flooding on the river's health also is being investigated. Members of the Implemention Team said Friday they are seeing near normal levels on tests to measure cloudiness of the water in tests this week.
"The project is extremely positive for the long-term health of the river," said Brett Fessell, a fish and wildlife coordinator for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
Despite the flooding, Lombardo said the Implementation Team is committed to the removal of the Boardman and Sabin dams in the coming years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing a report to document options for removal of those dams. Their removal will depend in large part on the ability to raise millions through grants and private sources, and Lombardo is confident the money will be raised.
"We are facing the same obstacles we faced in removing the Brown Bridge Dam, and the team is confident the challenges will be overcome," Lombardo said.
TRAVERSE CITY — Brown Bridge Dam is gone.
Nurse practitioners keep coming back to Haiti
Family nurse practitioner Mary Ellen Sanok used to wonder, as a little girl in church, why people ever would choose to go on missions to third-world countries.Continued ...
Ag Forum: Tent caterpillars aren't hanging around
Generally speaking, people don’t become inquisitive about a lack of caterpillars attacking their trees, so I’m not surprised that no one has asked me where the tent caterpillars are this year.Continued ...
Michigan still reeling out cash incentives
The heyday of Michigan’s movie incentives has faded, but director Rich Brauer lauded the state’s restructured movie incentive program as “very, very intelligent.”Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 06/15/2013
Integrity the key word; Not in best interest.Continued ...
Glen Lake plays with fire; Beal City takes win
For four innings, Glen Lake played with fire. Then, the roof caved in, and it spelled the end of the Lakers’ best baseball season in more than a decade.Continued ...
Dogman yelps again in film
Walter Rowen panted, not unlike a dog, after he sprinted around on aluminum stilts with furry paws at the bottom with two other similarly outfitted men.Continued ...
Rain adds twist to state golf finals
A large rainstorm Wednesday made play at the Division 1 and 4 state golf finals a little extra interesting.Continued ...
Mental Wellness: Preserve awe throughout life
Toddlers are amazing. My daughter explores the nuances of the word “no” with unrelenting talent. At times, it can be overwhelming, but it is her way of diving into the adventure and exploration of independence.Continued ...
Bums slam Joliet, 12-2
The Traverse City starting pitcher hit two career milestones Friday, notching his 200th strikeout and 20th victory in a Beach Bums uniform in a 12-2 win over Joliet to start a short weekend home stand.Continued ...
Body&Soul in Brief: 06/15/2013
Antique appraisals benefit Women's Fellowship; fund-raiser concert and dessert auction; and more.Continued ...
Predictions of turbine's demise premature
The nation’s first wind turbine run by a public utility can once again handle a good blow after a 10-month odyssey of failures and almost $50,000 in fixes.Continued ...
State golf finals standings: 1st Round
Area team places after the first round of the state finals:Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 06/15/2013
MSU golf coach to hold clinic; Dell’Acqua elected pres. of TB Blues; 131s win two at USSSA tournament. (Plus more)Continued ...
Traverse City Manager Bifoss' tenure ends next week
City Manager Ben Bifoss will finish his career at Traverse City with a Monday meeting marked by routine items void of controversy.Continued ...
You're Needed: 06/15/2013
The Recipient Rights Advisory Committee at Munson Medical Center is looking for new members.Continued ...
Blood Drive Calendar: 06/15/2013
Where and when to donate blood in northern Michigan:Continued ...
Discussion to address suicide prevention
Local residents are invited to listen in and share their voices during a national discussion about suicide prevention.Continued ...
Health Newsmakers: 06/15/2013
The Grand Traverse Pavilions Foundation received a $20,000 grant from the Art & Mary Schmuckal Family Foundation and a $2,000 grant from the Rotary Good Work Committee.Continued ...
Group works to halt invasive plants' spread
Landscape professionals who work in Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Antrim counties are invited to register for Go Beyond Beauty, a new program of the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network.Continued ...
Education Newsmakers: 06/15/2013
Jessica Abfalter, 29, of Grayling, a member of NMC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges, has been named a New Century Scholar and a Guistwhite Scholarship recipient.Continued ...
More sea lamprey treatments, surveys scheduled
Scientists plan to find and kill parasitic fish in several local waterways.Continued ...
Community in Brief: 06/15/2013
School retirees meet; Notable author visits; tai chi in public; and more.Continued ...
- Saturday, June 8, 2013
Ag Forum: What's environmental farming?
It’s not uncommon to witness a breathtaking view of the bays and inland lakes from one of the hundreds of sprawling farms across the region.Continued ...
Exercise after cancer
Jean Mahoney expected to experience some side effects after her double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer. What she didn’t expect is how fragile she would feel and how frightened she would be to become active again.Continued ...
TC Coast Guard station gets new commander
Coast Guard Cmdr. Joseph Buzzella Jr. described a symbiotic relationship between his guardsmen and the greater Traverse City community as he prepared to surrender the command he has held since 2011.Continued ...
- Nurse practitioners keep coming back to Haiti