Work begins to remove Parkville dam

Demolition of a longtime Park Township icon started Monday.

Work crews began removing what’s left of the former Parkville dam from the Portage River.

The process involved a backhoe and its bucket used to knock down the first of four concrete walls near the mouth of the mill race. Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials said the project is expected to take up to four weeks to complete.

St. Joseph County Conservation District Executive Director Carolyn Grace said there are three separate work locations. The first is ongoing at the site of the former dam. Next, attention will shift to removing the sluice gates in the mill race. Farther upstream, a diversion dam and its rebar that stretches the width of the river will be removed last.

Parkville Road, meanwhile, is closed at the Portage River bridge to thru traffic while workers are present. The $115,000 demolition and hazard removal cost will be covered by a grant through the state agency.

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