Ushering in a new chapter for the Neuse River and City of Raleigh, removal of the unsafe and obsolete Milburnie Dam began on Wednesday, November 15.
Why dam removal?
This obsolete dam hadn’t produced power in years and much worse, it had caused the death of 15 people, who drowned in the hydraulic created at the abandoned powerhouse. Removing the dam eliminated this public safety hazard. It will also restore the health of the Neuse River.
What benefits will the dam removal bring?
Milburnie Dam was the last impediment to migratory fish on the Neuse River from the coast, particularly shad and striped bass. The six mile long impoundment will return to its free flowing state and fish will return to their historic spawning grounds. As a part of the project, 7 years of monitoring will be performed to see how the biological and physical characteristics of the river change after dam removal. The Neuse will not only benefit from the removal of the dam, but the site of this project will be protected in perpetuity under a conservation easement.
American Rivers has advocated for the removal of Milburnie Dam for over a decade. Restoration Systems is managing and funding the project with private dollars. Mitigations credits will be generated by this project into a mitigation bank. This dam removal is the continuation of a comprehensive river restoration effort, including four previous dam removals downstream and on Neuse River tributaries.