SANDWICH – Sandwich Town Manager Bud Dunham said the Shawme Dam and Fish Ladder restoration project is ahead of schedule.
Not only that, it should cost the town less than predicted. Dunham said not all of the voter-approved $1.2 million in Community Preservation funding will be used to complete the work.
The popular fixture overlooking town center had to be repaired after an equally well known weeping willow tree’s roots interfered with its structural integrity. The tree was removed last fall.
Dunham said the project was scheduled to be completed in two phases over this winter and next winter, but current progress allow fish to migrate through the ladder portion this year.
Besides the environmental benefits, the area serves as an important gate for what Dunham described as a huge volume of water.
“If things ever let go, it would come across Route 130 and town hall,” he said. “Interesting that it’s such a hugely function public works project which protects homes and yet is also scenic and a focal point of the downtown area.”
The town had replaced the upper dam further up the pond a few years ago.
In addition to the fish ladder, a number of large stone walls and the entire dam must be reconstructed.
Dunham said the entirety of the work could be completed by the end of June.