SANDWICH – Renovations to the historic lower Shawme Dam in Sandwich are now ahead of schedule.
Town Manager Bud Dunham said the project was scheduled to be completed in two phases over this winter and next winter, but current progress could have 90 percent of the work completed before the spring.
The work will include repairs of the spillway, fish ladder and inside wall, replacing the town hall stone wall, pressure grouting of the grist mill walls and floor and repointing the upstream face dam stone walls.
“Things are going faster than they thought so a decision was made right around Christmas to try to get more stuff done this winter before the herring run in the spring,” said Dunham. “So that’s the goal.”
Contractors would need to return sometime in the fall to finish work on a dam wall in front of the Dexter Grist Mill.
“They are hard at work. They are making great progress on it,” Dunham said.
Renovations to the upper Shawme Dam were complete about eight years ago.
“I don’t think what people realize is that if either of those dams fail there would be significant damage,” Dunham said.
Public infrastructure, including Town Hall, and Route 130 would be affected by any breach.
“I guess the beauty about what we are doing is literally for the next 50 to 100 years no one in Sandwich is going to have to wonder about these two structures,” Dunham said.
The total cost of the project was slated for just over $1 million according to Dunham and projections have it coming in just under that total.
Community Preservation Act funds were approved for the construction.
By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter