Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stocking River Herring on the Pawtuxet River

On April 12th RI Department of Environmental Management, Fish and Wildlife transplanted more than 1000 river herring from the Connecticut River basin into the Pawtuxet at Pontiac. To view the pictures from the event click on the link below.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Whole New River Just Around the Bend...

Like sleeping giants, a stretch of intriguing
boulders are emerging as the river below
Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet lowers to its new levels.

At high tide last Friday evening, the natural
flows and sounds of the river, no longer tethered
by its old spillway, were a wonderful validation
of this restoration project.

Looking through the Broad Street bridge and
across Pawtuxet Cove at high tide, the
connection between river and bay now
appears seamless.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Going, Going, Gone

Work continued Thursday on the Southernmost section of the dam.
In advance of this weekend's storm, the Sumco crew is working feverishly, both chipping away at the remaining concrete and removing the debris from the site. The project team has been in communication with RIEMA and the municipalities, providing assurances that, by the end of Friday, all equipment and debris will be out of the river.
The final photo in this series taken Thursday evening at high tide shows the free flowing river and the best evidence yet of the potential for successful passage between river and the bay - for fish and paddlers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More River, Less Dam

Yesterday and today, SumCo worked on removing the south spillway, beginning at its north end where it tied into the big ledge outcrop in the middle of the river. At noon today, they began pulling back the cofferdam and allowing the river to flow over that section of the bedrock. They also finished up the low-flow channel in the riverbed between the dam site and the bridge. The river is really coming down now. Meanwhile, we're following the track of Hurricane Irene and will pull all the equipment and rubble out of the river before the storm arrives. Here's a video from today--Travis and Arthur pulling a sandbag to allow the river to flow over the bedrock in this location, perhaps for the first time in 200 years. Within a day or two, the river upstream of the dam location will be feeling the tides from Pawtuxet Cove, again likely for the first time in centuries.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cutting the Low Flow Channel

Today Dick Quinn from US Fish & Wildlife was on site, working with Curt Mason of EA Engineers to cut a low-flow channel in the river bed along the south bank of the river. Its purpose is to ensure that even if river flows are unusually low during the spring fish run period, shad and herring will be able to swim upstream over the restored Falls. Flows were relatively low today and we took advantage of low tide in the morning. The first photo shows Dick at work with Arthur, one of the guys from
SumCo, to lay out the channel. Later they had two excavators working--one on the channel and one on the dam. Removal of the south spillway is moving slowly due to the mass of concrete that must be removed, and because this spillway, unlike the center section, is crisscrossed with steel reinforcing rods. The second photo shows both machines at work.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Afternoon

Conditions look good this week, with relatively low flows and low tide during the day. SumCo spent the morning pulling back rubble left from demolition of the center spillway, and is now back at work continuing the demolition of the south spillway. This section of the dam is much more massive than the last; its demolition should take the better part of the week--if we don't get any rain and flows stay low. Following the demolition, SumCo will remove all concrete rubble from the river, filling steel containers to be hauled out by crane. Here's what it looks like now. The orange turbidity curtain is in place to prevent concrete dust from the demolition from moving downstream with the current.

Media Coverage

The project has received much attention in the media lately. On Friday evening channel 10 (WJAR) covered the project.

The Providence Journal wrote an article titled Pawtuxet Falls project is biggest dam removal job in R.I. history
EcoRI has also covered the project. Click here to read the article. 
And if you haven't had the chance yet, be sure to get down to the river check out the dam destruction for yourself!