Dam removed from Passumpsic River

EAST BURKE (WCAX) Water is now flowing freely after the removal of an old dam from the Passumpsic River.

The concrete dam was built in 1931 and had not been in use since the late 1950s when the nearby sawmill burned down.

The dam was blocking fish from getting upstream and sediment was building up causing a lot of muck for swimmers.

The Passumpsic Valley Land Trust had been working for 17 years to get the dam removed. In recent years, it sought help from the Connecticut River Conservancy.

It took about five weeks to remove the dam and sediment. It has resulted in lower water levels, so in case of a flood, the river now has an extra space for water storage.

"Much of that six truckloads of sediment that was removed, we've given that to the town, so the town can now use that for road projects," Ron Rhodes of the Connecticut River Conservancy said. "That's going to save the town a ton of money when it comes to winter sanding; when it comes to the roads and gravel for next spring."

Next spring, the Connecticut River Conservancy will lead the way in a revitalization project that will add trees, grass and bushes to the banks along with a couple of sets of access stairs.