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Gloucester to remove fish ladder 6-10-15

Gloucester to remove fish ladder
Gloucester Times

Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 9:07 am
By Ray Lamont Staff Writer

When the city of Gloucester built its West Gloucester water treatment plant nearly 50 years ago, a narrow stream meandered through the property, carrying alewife, smelt and other fish up to Lily Pond to spawn.
So the construction of the water plant, which opened in 1969, also included a move to essentially shift the stream to the east, through a concrete channel and the creation of a fish ladder and a concrete lagoon that served the water facility.
Today, however, improvements to the municipal water system mean the city hasn't needed the concrete lagoon since 2009, said Larry Durkin, Gloucester's environmental engineer with the Department of Community.
So the city is now seeking bids on a $430,000 Little River stream restoration project that will remove the lagoon, the channel and the decaying ladder, all of which have become more of a hindrance than an aid to spawning fish.
"At this point, given the narrow connection, it can overwhelm the ability of the fish to make it up," said Greg Cademartori, the city's planning director. "So the project is designed to undo the channeling system to return to a more natural stream."
The project is being funded in large part through a $310,000 state grant secured by the city through Coastal Zone Management and the state Division of Ecological Restoration. The project also requires a 25 percent match, and the city has committed up to $150,000 through a loan authorization backed by the City Council late last year.
The overall cost is now projected to be around $430,000, but will hinge on the bids, which are due June 24.
Four bidders had taken out copies of the plans for consideration as of Monday, according to the city's bid documents: N. Granese and Sons Inc. of Salem, NETCO of Lexington, North Construction Service of Weymouth, and Sumco Eco Contracting LLC, also of Salem.
The full scope of work consists of the removal and disposal of the existing concrete fish ladder and portions of an existing concrete lagoon, channel excavation, and installation of channel features, according to the city's bid specifics.

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