Eagle Dam in Wrentham: Repair or Remove?
Contributed by Joe Stewart
On Saturday, January 21, the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA), the town of Wrentham, and Weston & Sampson (an engineering consulting firm), hosted a walk where attendees could see firsthand the damage Eagle Dam has sustained over the years. Eagle Dam is located just off Rt. 140, adjacent to Town Well #3.
The Eagle Dam was built in the late 1600s, and while it once powered a mill, it has long since outlived that use. The State Office of Dam Safety requires periodic dam safety inspections and those inspections have found that Eagle Dam needs attention. The town is concerned that high winds, a hurricane, or other storms will force a breach of the damaged dam and cause flooding on Rt. 140 and further downstream.
To address these concerns, the town hired CRWA to assess options. One option is to remove the dam entirely, which is estimated to cost significantly less than other options such as repairing or replacing the dam.
According to Rachel Benson, Wrentham’s Director of Planning and Economic Development, the town hired CRWA with funds from a State Municipal Vulnerability Program grant for this project. Weston & Sampson is a sub-consultant for CRWA.
Residents of Wrentham are urged to get involved and make their voices heard. CRWA and the town of Wrentham plan another Eagle Dam walk on April 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m., starting at 608 Franklin St. in Wrentham.