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Bye Dam It's Gone

leah kirk

Roanoke Times VA-The old Power Dam at Pigg River in Rocky Mount is no more thanks to Monte Atkins Shenandoah StreamWorks and his heavy equipment operating skills. Atkins broke up concrete pieces of the dam with a hydraulic hammer, then a few days later work began for a partial removal of the dam. The dam was considered to be in poor condition and ready to be removed. It is hoped that its removal will restore connectivity of the upstream and downstream sections of the Pigg River.

The removal of the dam on the Pigg should aid in the recovery of the Roanoke logperch — a federally listed endangered fish found living in this section of the river, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Virginia field office.

The partial removal will leave intact a historical building that once was used to help generate power for the town. The dam was built in 1915 for power generation and is 25 feet high and 200 feet long. Wood debris piles found at the top of the dam and extending 150 feet upstream also will be removed to help restore river channel flow and wetlands. Some of the demolished concrete will stay at the river site, covered with topsoil to be made into a vegetation bench.

The wood will be hauled off and chipped into mulch or be used by a local college for biofuel. The project is slated to take four to six weeks. Duke Energy provided funding for the project with a little more than $1 million, according to Jeff Brooks, spokesman for Duke Energy.