Ipswich Mills Dam
In the heart of downtown Ipswich, a dam has existed at the “head-of-the-tide” Ipswich Mills site since the mid-seventeenth century. The current dam powered mills and manufacturing facilities from the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. The dam still holds an aesthetic and emotional appeal for many residents. It also, however, represents a maintenance burden and legal liability to the Town exacerbates flooding concerns for the downtown area, represents a significant fish passage obstruction, and degrades water quality and ecological conditions for its upgradient-impounded area. This project includes baseline topographic and bathymetric mapping, hydraulic modeling of potential changes to river stage and flow; analysis of the potential impacts of dam removal on fish passage, habitat function, and recreation; historical research and impact assessment; and evaluation of potential structural impacts to adjacent mill buildings.
CLIENT: Town of Ipswich, Division of Ecological Restoration (DER)
PROBLEM: Maintenance burden, legal liability, flooding concerns, fish passage obstruction, water quality issues
SOLUTION: Feasibility study, research, and mapping
BENEFITS: A feasibility study will help with project planning and next steps