The city of Columbus could remove the low-head dam near the Upland Columbus Pump House without affecting the East Fork White River.
That conclusion was part of findings of a study presented to the Columbus Redevelopment Commission on Monday by Bob Barr, a research scientist with IUPUI who is associated with a group of state and federal agencies known as the Silver Jackets, which was asked by the city to study the river.
Columbus is looking to develop the city’s riverfront between the Second and Third Street bridges to improve the quality of life for residents and to draw more visitors to the city. Barr said the Silver Jackets’ study was performed north and south of the low-head dam, evaluating the width and depth of the river at nine locations.
The analysis also looked at how sediment is transported along the river with the low-head dam in place, Barr said. Other than sediment found in a gravel pit just south of the designated project area, no major issues were discovered, he said.
The low-head dam was restricting the flow of sediment downstream as it normally should, Barr said.
“If the dam is taken out, the river will recover very quickly,” he said. “The river is deepest where it should be.”
For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.