Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Boring Above the Bloede Dam


Boring Activity above Bloede Dam to Begin the First Week of September 2012

The partners of the Patapsco River Restoration Project (PRRP) want to make the public aware of boring activity that will be taking place in the impoundment area above Bloede Dam. The activity is scheduled to begin around September 4th and last for approximately two weeks, potentially longer depending on weather conditions and stream flow. There will be no disruption to use of the Grist Mill Trail or other park facilities. However, park visitors should expect to see workmen and equipment on the road and on site. Please exercise caution if you will be in this area. No work will be conducted on the weekends.
The PRRP partners have contracted with Triad Construction Services, Inc. to conduct this work. Specifically, a total of 14 test borings will be drilled as part of evaluating the river bottom upstream of the Bloede Dam. Six test borings will be taken within the floodplain, six test borings will be taken adjacent to the sewer line and two borings will be taken within the river channel. These borings are needed to provide more information about the natural river morphology, the form and structure of the river bed. The borings will provide a more detailed analysis of the site and subsurface conditions, especially the area near Ilchester Bridge, the point bar on river left, and the sewer line. Earlier this year, the Maryland Geological Survery (MGS) collected seismic data from ground penetrating radar surveys and conducted sediment coring as part of the Bloede Dam Alternatives Analysis. Results from the borings will confirm and enhance the MGS work. This information is necessary to further evaluate the removal of Bloede Dam.

Bloede Dam Project and Analysis

Problem: The dam is a public safety concern (deaths have occurred), an obstacle for fish passage, and it fragments aquatic habitat.
Responsibility: Bloede dam is owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and is on the property of the Patapsco Valley State Park.
Process: A feasibility study was commissioned to evaluate the dam's negative impact on the ecology of the Patapsco River and issues of public safety. The Department is currently taking public comment on a report of the alternatives to address the problem.

Goals of the Bloede project:

  1. Restoration of Fish and Aquatic Organism Passage
  2. The Patapsco River once supported large runs of shad, herring, and American eels, but the construction of dams has blocked these historic migrations. The fish ladders constructed in the 1990's have proven to be ineffective at passing fish – especially American eel.
  3. Improvement of Public Safety
  4. The Bloede dam is a significant public safety hazard, several deaths have occurred at or near the dam, The most recent of which helped spark the current alternatives analysis.
  5. Consideration of Historic, Cultural and Recreational Values
  6. The Bloede Dam was built in the early 1900s and has a unique design. It is a major feature of the Patapsco Valley State Park. Recreational boating and fishing values shall be considered.

Why Bloede Dam - Why Now?

  • Improve public safety (human deaths & injuries have taken place at the dam)
  • Complement upstream restoration work (Union & Simkins dam removal)
  • Improve fish passage (ladder has been unsuccessful & expensive to maintain)
  • Improve stream connectivity for fish and aquatic organisms

The Department held an Open House on the Bloede Dam Alternatives Analysis at the Catonsville Library in late June. Click here to see the poster presentation from the Open House. If you would like to submit written comments, please email:bloededam@dnr.state.md.us. Comments will be compiled and made available to the public after the comment period ends on August 31st.


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