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Longtime Flint landmark nearly gone

May 26, 2018

Work crews on Thursday were busy tearing away the final sections of the old Hamilton Dam in Flint.
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Demolition crews have nearly completed tearing down Flint’s Hamilton Dam.

The crumbling 95-year-old landmark became a backdrop for many national television stories about Flint’s water crisis during the past few years.

However, the dam will soon be no more.

Crews have been demolishing the dam for the past few months. They expect to finish next month.

Hamilton Dam (file photo)
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This is the first phase of a much larger restoration project for the Flint River.

Barry June is the acting director of the Genesee County Park and Recreation Commission. He says the commission is working with the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the next phases of river restoration.

“This work will naturalize the stretch of river that runs through downtown by removing portions of the concrete wall, and returning the river back to its natural shape and functions,” says June. “The project will greatly increase aquatic habitat, facilitate fish passage, and will allow safe recreational paddling for the first time in over 100 years.” 

And while it may look inviting, kayakers be warned: The river still not safe to navigate. There will be buoys directly upstream of the former dam to warn paddlers away.