- Watch your step! Please remember that this is still an ACTIVE river restoration project/natural area! There are many small trees and shurbs growing, and wooden stakes in the ground that are holding the erosion control matting in place. (Over time, the erosion control matting and wooden stakes will decompose). Please try not to step on the vegetation and we recommend not running to avoid tripping.
- Orange = Closed When the water level is too high, or for any other reason, the City of Franklin will put orange cones up, meaning the site is temporarily closed because it is not safe to access the area.
- Load/Unload Promptly The load/unload area that will be closest to the river on the paved parking lot hasn't been marked yet. Out of courtesy to others, please only park temporarily in the paved area closest to the river if you are loading/unloading.
- Safety First! Last but not least, please be safe! The river banks are no longer steep, making it much easier to walk down to the river. Again, we recommend not running around the site. Please follow the many safety tips for being in and around water. You can visit TSRA's webpage for some paddling safety information, or TWRA's Canoeing and Paddling Sports Laws.
Lowhead Dam Removal and Restoration Project.
PRESS RELEASE -President Obama's new America's Great Outdoors Rivers Initiative chooses Harpeth River for TN project.
PRESS RELEASE- The Harpeth River has been listed on the 2012 TEN WATERS TO WATCH list by the National Fish Habitat Partnership!
***All pictures below can be right-clicked and saved for use by the press. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like additional pictures, higher resolution, or have any questions.
***Please note that public access will be limited during this stage of the project due to construction. Please check back here to find out when public access will be re-opened.
Lowhead dam on Harpeth was removed July 25th, 2012
Watch the dam come down from our Dam Cam time-lapsed video
Click picture to enlarge
(L-R) HRWA Executive Director, Dorene Bolze; Secretary
May 21, 2012 Secretary Salazar of the Department of Interior announced the new Rivers Initiative with a project from each state and the District of Columbia as models of collaborative efforts to conserve and restore key rivers in the United States, expand outdoor recreational opportunities and support jobs in local communities.
The Harpeth River has been listed on the 2012 TEN WATERS TO WATCH list! The Harpeth has been recognized in 2012 for the lowhead dam removal project by the National Fish Habitat Partnership which works nationwide to conserve fish habitat. The partnership of federal, state and other entities implement the National Fish Habitat Action Plan. The Harpeth river lowhead dam removal and restoration project helps meet these goals and received $350,000 from federal funds as a result. See press release.
LOWHEAD DAM REMOVAL and RIVER RESTORATION
PROJECT on HARPETH RIVER in FRANKLIN
In August 2010, HRWA secured $350,000 from collaborative funding programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, and the National Fish Habitat Partnership for projects that improve fish habitat and remove blockages to fish passage. The removal of the city's lowhead dam will make the Harpeth RIver one of the few rivers in TN that is entirely free flowing! The funds are on behalf of the city of Franklin to remove the structure as part of modernizing its water withdrawal from the Harpeth for drinking water as required in its permit from the state. (Permit below). TDEC (TN Department of Environment and Conservation) as a partner is conducting the actual removal of the structure. Other project partners include the TN Wildlife Resources Agency, the US Geologial Survey, and likely local businesses as the project moves to completion in 2012.
The removal of the city’s lowhead dam is part of a national effort over the past 50 years that has seen the removal of over 600 dams around the country according to a compilation by American Rivers. In TN, 25 dams (8 to 160 feet tall) have been removed around the state in the last 40 years. The removal of this 6 foot structure on the Harpeth will be only the second on a main river in TN whereas all others have been a small streams. The other main river dam removal was on the Duck River.
FINAL DESIGN PLANS: 30 MB High Resolution
Final Specs| Stormwater analysis of pervious parking lot
US Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide 27 permit
TDEC 401 certification | hydrological and hydraulic analysis
Fish assessment by TWRA - April 2011
Impoundment characterization study
City of Franklin's TDEC ARAP permit water withdrawal for drinking water
OTHER IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Overview of fish found in the Harpeth River | Overview of Mussels found in the Harpeth River
U.S. Fish & Wildlife's FISH PASSAGE PROGRAM
The project will not affect the flood levels in the river, nor the city's current water withdrawal system. The removal of the lowhead dam structure will not involve any blasting. The area will continue to be the location of the TWRA trout stocking in the river during the winter season. This project will also be the next restoration project undertaken under the framework of the Harpeth River Watershed Initiative between TDEC, Franklin, and Williamson County. See cover story in Tennessean, August 9, 2011.
Final Plans Completed December 2011
Powerpoint presentation to city of Franklin Board of Mayor and Alderman in May 2010. This has a nice summary of the project with photographs and all the key information on the project including project partners. The only change is that the concept plan has since been updated to the final plan.
The TN Wildlife Resources Agency is conducting the fish monitoring for the project. Here is the pre-project fish assessment report based on the field work conducted in June 2010.
TN Wildlife Resources Agency, Fish Community Assessment in Harpeth River Prior to the Removal of the dam in Franklin, TN - April 2011.
TDEC is handling the removal of the lowhead dam itself with project contractor, Environmental Mangement and Engineering, Inc.
Environmental Management and Engineering, Inc. (EME) provides a full-range of environmental, engineering and design services to public- and private-sector clients. With offices in Nashville, TN, Athens, AL, Providence, RI and Union City, TN, EME provides services throughout the eastern half of the country and beyond. EME’s core service is CLIENT SERVICE, which includes such skills as: project management; geology and hydrogeology; site assessments, investigations and remediation; stream restoration/mitigations and fluvial geomorphology; regulatory affairs, permitting and compliance consulting; storm and waste water management; sinkhole repairs; in-plant environmental and health and safety services as well as a variety of other specialized environmental and civil engineering services.
North State Environmental has been awarded the contract with the city of Franklin to complete all other elements of the Harpeth River Restoration Project.
North State Environmental, Inc. is dedicated to restoring out streams and wetlands to their natural state – beautiful and functional. Since 1994, North State Environmental, Inc. has partnered with clients such as consulting firms, private mitigation firms, private builders, and government agencies such as Ecological Enhancement Program and Department of Transportation, in a variety of states to protect and restore our streams and wetlands to their natural state. Working in settings such as urban, rural, universities, parks, and forests, North State Environmental, Inc’s professional and qualified team delivers the best in quality and performance through specialized channel design and installation services.
North State Environmental, Inc. has applied the same values since 1994 allowing us to grow and expand to be a nationwide presence in the field of stream restoration because we love what we do, and we do it right! Darrell and Stephanie Westmoreland (our founders) have always had a love of the outdoors, and take great pride in developing a company that is a driving force in restoring natural beauty in urban and rural settings. One of the primary secrets to the success of North State Environmental, Inc. is the ability to understand what designers and owners want, as well as understanding the real complexity of river and habitat needs. By knowing both where the owner wants to go, and the best way to get there, we are able to excel at getting quality results at a macro level.