Town finally gets its dam fish ladder 8-15-16

Town finally gets its dam fish ladder

Daily Times Chronicle
Posted: Monday, August 15, 2016 4:00 pm
Posted on Aug 15, 2016 by Ryan LaRoche

WINCHESTER - Thanks to $250k in funding from the EPA Superfund, fish will now be able to cross over the Center Falls Dam (behind Town Hall and the library) and swim upstream toward Woburn and points north.
Two companies, Bayer CropScience Inc. and Pharmacia LLC, both the settling defendants under the terms of the consent decree entered in the case titled "United States of America v. Bayer Crop Science Inc, and Pharmacia Corporation, will construct a fish ladder adjacent to the Center Falls Dam. Both companies will build and maintain the ladder. After 5-10 years, the town will take over maintenance responsibilities.

The agreement states: "The Companies assume responsibility for completing the design of the Project (the "Project Design"), which design once approved in writing by the EPA shall be incorporated into and become part of the Remedial Design for the OU-2 (Operable Unit No. 2) Remedial Action. In order to assist the Companies with respect to the Project Design, the Town's consultant, VHB of Watertown, Massachusetts, has provided copies of the design work (including plans, drawings and specifications) generated to date for the Project, including where applicable, copies of electronic CAD files, to de maximis, inc. as the Companies' Project Coordinator for the OU-2 Remedial Action (the "Project Coordinator").

Town Manager Richard Howard said that the project won't interfere with the town's ability to regulate the dam gates to control flooding. In fact, the agreement clearly specifies that "neither the Companies, their Project Coordinator nor their respective employees, agents, consultants or contractors shall have any right, authority or responsibility with respect to the operation, monitoring, inspection, maintenance, repair or replacement of the Center Falls Dam ("Dam") or the condition of the Dam, nor shall they have any right, authority or responsibility to manage or control the flow of water over, through, under or around the Dam. All authority, control and responsibility for the Dam and said flow of water in connection with it shall rest solely and exclusively with the Town."

The project will, however, cause the loss of several parking spaces on the bridge during the few months of construction.

The agreement states that the "Companies shall complete the Project Construction by no later than December 31, 2016" unless delayed "due to force majeure (superior force) circumstances."

For those curious to see the fish as they swim by, there will be a viewing area with a small railing and bump-out.

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