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The Boardman: A River Reborn Phase II in Motion

March 21, 2014

It’s not just the water above the former Brown Bridge Dam that’s moving – the Implementation Team, the collaborative group of partners providing project oversight, is diving into phase II of the project. Efforts are currently focused on Boardman Dam and the adjoining Cass Road Bridge. This phase not only includes the removal of the dam, originally built in 1894, but also working with the Michigan Department of Transportation to build a two-lane bridge at this crossing. URS Corporation was contracted as the engineering firm over the winter and is working on site surveys and preliminary designs.

Partners are actively fundraising for the next phase of work. Support from local, state, federal, private and tribal partners has helped make this Michigan’s largest dam removal project in the state’s history and one of the largest wetland restoration projects in the Great Lakes Basin.

History and Milestones

  • 2004 Traverse City Light and Power discontinues hydropower generation at three dams on the Boardman River (Brown Bridge, Boardman and Sabin Dams)
  • 2005 The Boardman River Dams Settlement Agreement establishes the multi-party Implementation Team and the Boardman River Dams Committee charged with assessing and making recommendations regarding the fate of the three dams along with Union Street Dam
  • 2008 An unprecedented community input process evaluates various options
  • 2009 Grand Traverse County and the City of Traverse City decide to pursue removal of Brown Bridge, Boardman and Sabin Dams and modification of Union Street Dam
  • 2012 Brown Bridge Dam is removed and habitat is restored with lead support from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust

Next Steps

  • Boardman Dam removal, construction of new Cass Road Bridge, habitat restoration and evaluation of invasive species control
  • Removal of Sabin Dam, habitat restoration and modification of Union Street Dam

Ongoing

  • Pre- and post-construction monitoring
  • Stewardship activities including habitat enhancement and invasive species management

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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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