Dam removal project kicks off with a splash

The largest dam removal project in Michigan's history is underway.

Wednesday workers started demolishing one of the three dams on the Boardman River to bring back the river's historic flow pattern.

Senator Carl Levin along with dozens of residents, and tribal members met at the Brown Bridge Dam to kick off the project. Removing the dam will restore almost two miles of riverfront and restore wetlands and wildlife habitat.

Senator Carl Levin, (D) Michigan says, "In a sense we're glueing back a river that has been disturbed."

Traverse City and Grand Traverse County officials agreed to the project because the dams no longer generate hydropower. This first phase costs $2.9 million dollars and is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Construction crews will then have to deconstruct the Sabin and Boardman dams.