SLR attends ribbon cutting ceremony for High Street Dam removal and Bridge replacement

Post Date
22 May 2024
Read Time
2 minutes
  • Water resources engineering
  • Civil & structural engineering

SLR staff attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the High Street Dam Removal and Bridge Replacement project in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The event was held on May 21st, 2024, in honor of World Fish Migration Day. Representatives from The Nature Conservancy and other federal, state, and local organizations gathered for the event, led by Michael Dutton, Bridgewater Town Manager.

“This project is a national model demonstrating the environmental benefits of dam removals for restoring critical fish migration as well as a significant restoration of a natural habitat for the plants and animals living in the region.”

Town of Bridgewater, Massachusetts

SLR was retained by The Nature Conservancy and the Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration to provide a feasibility study, final design drawings, and construction documentation for the removal of the High Street Dam and restoration of the 2.5-mile impounded portion of the Town River in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. SLR then contracted with the Town of Bridgewater for construction phase services to remove the historic mill dam and replace the upstream High Street bridge.

Taylor DelVecchio and Andie Greene of Water Resources Engineering and Kishor Patel of Structural Engineering are pictured in a selfie, posed in front of the High Street bridge over the Town River.
SLR staff Taylor DelVecchio, Kishor Patel, and Andie Greene are pictured in front of the High Street bridge over the Town River.

About the High Street Dam removal and Bridge replacement project

The High Street Dam, located in Bridgewater, MA, stood for over 100 years on the Town River. This dam served as a barrier, blocking fish passage, and obstructing the natural river flows, which also led to increased flooding. Concerns of aging and deteriorating infrastructure as well as erosion meant that the replacement of the upstream High Street Bridge was necessary and highly beneficial as part of the dam removal project.

The SLR team began conducting the feasibility analysis for the dam removal in 2017 and developed the final design for the selected alternative in 2022, informed by hydraulic modeling, fish passage assessment, and a sediment removal analysis. Findings from the hydraulic analysis led to the conclusion that the replacement of the upstream bridge would be necessary due to increased scour vulnerability.

SLR worked with state organizations and the Town of Bridgewater from the beginning of the project and throughout the two-year construction period. Today, the Town River flows freely and allows for unobstructed fish passage. The newly constructed 55-foot span steel girder bridge better accommodates peak river flows, preventing flooding on roads and nearby residential areas. The bridge is designed to withstand the 500-year storm and climate change projections for years to come.

To learn more about the High Street dam removal and bridge replacement project, click here.

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