Little River Dam Consultants to Guide Public Tour, Answer Questions Wednesday

Little River dam and falls at Winter Street in Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

Those interested in learning first-hand how removal of Little River dam will unfold and of any effects upriver have a chance tomorrow afternoon.

As WHAV reported July 14, the city’s Conservation Commission highlighted how this summer’s Vermont floods may be a prediction of what could happen in Haverhill if the dam remains. It invited the public to take part in an investigatory walk—now scheduled for tomorrow, 5 p.m., at Cashman Field, off Hilldale Avenue—before taking actions at its Aug. 3 meeting. Consultants from Fuss & O’Neill are expected to be on hand to answer questions and address concerns.

“The Conservation Commission scheduled this site visit to foster transparency and strengthen community partnerships. The objective for commissioners is listening and fact finding. The deliberations shall take place in open hearings,” Conservation Commission Vice Chairman and Community Liaison Ralph T. Basiliere told WHAV.

Basiliere advised the public to wear appropriate footwear and clothing if they opt to tour the riverbank area.

Julianne Busa, senior project manager, said a number of dams across the state have already been removed with no ill environment effects.

“We’re also looking to increase river access and provide additional ways for people to get to the river, interact with the river, utilize the river and create some public greenspace and increased tree cover in the downtown area,” she explained.

Busa said plans include a canoe and kayak launch area, a pedestrian bridge, a fishing area with stone seating and a river-front trail network.

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