After a decade of discussion, the removal of the Fifth Avenue lowhead dam will finally be moving forward. The Ohio EPA and OSU have both signed off on allowing the Columbus Department of Public Utilities to remove the dam and restore the flow of this portion of the Olentangy River. Yesterday evening, Columbus City Council passed legislation that will set the stage for the removal of the dam sometime this fall.
“The removal of the dam will help the Olentangy River return to its natural state for the benefit of the environment and community,” said Columbus City Councilmember Eileen Y. Paley, chair of the Public Utilities Committee. “This is the right thing to do and will leave a safer waterway for generations to come.”
The project is expected to cost approximately $6.9 million, which includes the redesign of the shoreline and the landscaping of native plants along the river. The river will eventually connect Downtown where the Main Street Dam is also being planned for removal, creating an interconnected navigable waterway.
More information can be found online at utilities.columbus.gov.