Public Has Opportunity Wednesday to Learn More About Little River Dam Removal Plans

The public is invited to learn more Wednesday about plans to demolish the Little River Dam near Lafayette Square in Haverhill.

Project managers will be on hand to discuss the dam’s removal and restoration of the waterway Wednesday, June 29, from 4-6 p.m., at Cashman Park, 187 Hilldale Ave., Haverhill. Earlier this year, consultants from Fuss & O’Neil said the removal will bring a cleaner waterway and improve recreational access.

“Removal of the dam will provide for a free-flowing system, essentially no stagnation as currently occurs. There will be little sediment accumulation as a result because sediment will be carried through the system,” said Phil Moreschi, a certified flood plan manager.

Fuss & O’Neil Senior Environmental Scientist Julianna Busa said goals are to reduce flooding risks, increase river access and develop more green space downtown. She said the project also would also remove a barrier to fish and other aquatic organisms, allowing them better access to the upstream portion of the river, and help increase the marketability of the abandoned Stevens Mill building adjacent to the dam.

Haverhill initially received a $70,600 state grant for a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness study, related to preparation in advance of effects of climate change. Last fall, the city received another $475,000 grant for river restoration design and permitting.

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