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Concurrent Sessions A: Dam Removal I - Cost-Effective Sediment Management For Small Dam Removal Projects

Abstract
One of the most challenging aspects of small dam removal projects is determining how to manage the sediment trapped by the dam. In New England, small dam removal projects involve anywhere from 200 to 80,000 cubic yards of potentially mobile sediment. Depending on the geomorphic context, impoundment sediment may be dominated by gravel, cobbles and boulders, or it may be fine-grained silts and clays. The least expensive way to manage sediment is to allow it to erode downstream. This approach may not be possible, however, due to sediment contamination or the presence of downstream infrastructure such as culverts, flood walls, and private property. On the other hand, excavating and removing even small volumes of sediment can be prohibitively expensive for dam owners and agencies that fund restoration projects. This presentation 1) summarizes common sediment management methods used in New England dam removal projects and the associated per unit costs; 2) highlights projects where creative approaches to sediment management have reduced the construction cost; and 3) offers a decision-making framework for simple, cost-effective sediment management.
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2013-06-25
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