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Abstract: Session C  11:10 am (Back to Session C)
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Stream Restoration and Dam Removal: Lessons Learned from Design Through Construction

Matt Leisses
Gannett Fleming
Baltimore, MD

Authors: Matt Leisses/Rob Scrafford, PE & Steve Davidheiser, PE

The removal of Gunter Valley dam just outside of Shippensburg, PA in 2019 is believed to be the largest embankment dam decommissioning project in the eastern united states.  Decommissioning large embankment dams has significant challenges and risks that must be addressed during design.   This case study will discuss the challenges that occurred during the construction phase, 5 years after the design. Challenges include how the design team, dam owner, and regulators worked together to plan and orchestrate the removal of the 80-foot-high earth embankment dam, an associated low-head concrete dam; and construct improvements to 4,000 linear feet of stream channel to restore a valley and natural trout migration within the Tuscarora State Forest. Construction included the use of low impact techniques to improve fish habitat. Lessons learned from the project will be shared.