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Boardman River Update

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Boardman River Update July 2018

The contractor for the Boardman Dam removal, Michels Corporation, remobilized equipment, operators and job trailer to the project site in mid-July.  Sediment trap maintenance, instream channel bed work, floodplain grading, access road work, and installation of additional fabric encapsulated soil lifts are included in the current restoration activities. Engineers with the US Army Corps of Engineers, AECOM and InterFluve are regularly on-site to work with Michels to wrap up the final phase of river restoration work needed to fully complete the Boardman Dam Removal project.  These activities are expected to be completed by later this fall.

Next up – Sabin Dam! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District has awarded an almost $3.8 million contract to Job Site Services, Inc. of Bay City, Michigan for removal of the Sabin Dam and associated restoration. The work to be completed in this phase will be commenced soon and consists of three major components:

  • Breaching and removal of the Sabin Dam, including its earthen embankment and dewatering of Sabin Pond.
  • Demolition and removal of the Sabin Dam powerhouse, intake works and existing spillway/gate.
  • Restoration of the Boardman River from 3,500 feet upstream to 500 feet downstream of Sabin Dam.

Along with other completed and planned restoration initiatives on the Boardman River, removal of Sabin Dam will assist in restoring fish passage and providing aquatic connectivity to Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan, while also restoring wetlands and establishing native plant communities. The project will allow movement of wood and sediment through the river system, eliminate thermal disruption, and restore the natural balance between coldwater and coolwater species.  Paddlers are asked to pull out of the river at Beitner Road.  Please contact the Grand Traverse Conservation District regarding trail closures at (231)941-0960 or visit

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Conservation Resource Alliance

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