MANCHESTER - Removal of the Dufresne Pond Dam began on Monday, according to Brian Fitzgerald, Streamflow Protection Coordinator at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

The dam was slated for demolition earlier in the year, due to a number of safety concerns, including uncontrolled seepage through the dam and inadequate spillway capacity.

SumCo Edo-Contracting, the contractor on the project which is based in Salem, Mass., began excavating a bypass channel on Monday. This channel would serve to divert the flow while the new, permanent, channel is constructed.

The removal of the dam will cause the pond to become a free-flowing stream of the Battenkill. In a prior interview, Fitzgerald acknowledged this change, but assured that there will still be public access to the pond as a recreation spot.

The change will also cause the fire department to shift where they will retrieve their water for fighting fires in the area. However, there is a hydrant close enough that the change will not interfere with their ability to fight fires in the neighborhood.

"We expect the project will take approximately two weeks, but that is somewhat dependent on weather and the integrity of the concrete that must be removed," said Fitzgerald in an email.


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