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Nashua River dam work set to begin
In the past week, the river has been intentionally lowered about 8 to 10 feet to allow crews to start making significant improvements to the Jackson Falls Dam. As part of the Cotton Mill Square project, a multimillion dollar housing plan, an adjustable crest gate for the 180-feet dam will be constructed to decrease the water level of the Nashua River by about four feet during flooding.
The existing dam operates as a run-of-river dam, not a store-and-release dam. The new crest gate, however, will use a compressed air piping system and steel plate operation to inflate or deflate the gate automatically when necessary, coordinating with the rise and fall of the river.
Despite some of the debris that is now visible along the edge of the river, Galligani said it is better than he expected.
On Wednesday, Greg Andruskevich and Joshua Segal of the Mine Falls Park Advisory Committee cleaned up trash that washed ashore because of the lower water levels.
"I met a family out there that found an old Christmas bell during their search. There is just so much junk in there," he said. "The water is the lowest I've ever seen it. Surprisingly, though, it is not smelly at all. The water itself is very clean."
The Jackson Falls Dam is owned by the City of Nashua, but is leased to Nashua Hydro Associates until 2014. Construction on the dam should be completed by the beginning of October, according to Galligani.
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