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Public Comments Requested on the Norwalk River Dam No. 2 Rehabilitation Plan

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) invites Fairfield County, Ridgefield Town residents, and other interested individuals to review the draft rehabilitation plan for the Norwalk River Dam No. 2.  Built in 1979, the structure has provided over 40 years of flood protection for residents and infrastructure, but it no longer meets state and NRCS safety and performance standards for a high hazard dam. 

Interested individuals can view a hard copy of the Draft Plan/Environmental Assessment at the Ridgefield Public Library in Ridgefield, Connecticut. An electronic version will also available on the NRCS website from June 1 through July 6, 2021.

The Norwalk River Watershed project is sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  The proposed action is to decommission the dam by removing the principal/auxiliary spillway and embankment down to the valley floor and reconnecting the stream channel and floodplain. The stream channel will be armored with a 10-foot bottom width to control erosion and a concrete cutoff will be installed at the upstream end of the armored channel to prevent downcutting and to maintain the water and sediment capacity of the small pool and Great Swamp wetlands upstream of the embankment. Decommissioning the dam will reduce the threat to loss of life and property for approximately 24 people who live and/or work in the downstream breach inundation zone.  There are also three residences, one business structure, two major roads, and four other roads in the breach inundation zone. Decommissioning could adversely impact two downstream residents and six road crossings; however, there would be no increase in the threat to loss of life. NRCS Small Watershed Rehabilitation funds will cover $622,500 of the estimated $857,100 in total project installation costs. The remaining $234,600 will come from non-federal funds. 

The public comment period will end on July 6, 2021.  Specific inquiries about this rehabilitation plan may be referred to Kristin Walker, acting state conservation engineer, by phone at (860) 871-4033 or email.  

Public comments should be sent to Thomas Morgart, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 344 Merrow Road, Suite A, Tolland, CT 06084.