A full view of the historic 1906 slab and buttress dam was revealed as the water stopped flowing over it. A team from the Historic Buildings Survey and Historic American Engineering Record of the National Park Service arrived at the dam site to scan, measure, and photograph it. This information will provide comprehensive historical documentation of the Bloede Dam for the Library of Congress. In addition, the team will create a 3-D model for a new park visitor center.
The breach created by an explosive blast is the first step in removing the physical structure. As the water, sand and gravel move out of the impounded area above the dam, the construction crew will begin to mechanically remove the concrete piece-by-piece over the next few weeks. Photos of the removal process will be posted on this web site as work progresses. The dam construction area in Patapsco State Park will remain closed to the public during this work.
We aren’t done yet! The restoration project still has plenty of work to do before the project is completed in 2019. The breach is one big step for the Patapsco River and one giant leap for aquatic resources and public safety.
View a story map of the Bloede Dam Project
This story map created by our partner, American Rivers, guides you through the history of the Bloede Dam, its relationship with the Patapsco River and its ultimate removal.
Problem: The Bloede Dam is located within the Patapsco River State Park and was built in 1907. The dam is a public safety concern (deaths have occurred), an obstacle for fish passage, and it fragments river continuity and aquatic habitats.
Responsibility: Bloede dam is owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Process: A feasibility study was commissioned to evaluate the dam's negative impact on the ecology of the Patapsco River and issues of public safety. After a thorough analysis and public input (2011-2012), the Department and project partners made the decision to move forward with the Bloede Dam removal with passive sediment management.
With the removal of all or most of Bloede Dam, the department envisions a restored Patapsco River System with a wide range of benefits and long-term cost savings. It is recognized that this decision is not without potential adverse impacts.
A significant historical structure in Patapsco Valley State Park will be lost, there will be short-term impacts to the ecology of the river, fishing and other recreational opportunities will be affected, and there will be temporary inconvenience to park visitors.
However, there will be long-term ecological benefits to the Patapsco River and the Chesapeake Bay, including:
To address the loss of the cultural and historic aspects of the Bloede Dam, the project partners will be developing interpretive displays to be posted on location.
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