Remaking a river

Demolition crews in August took down the old powerhouse at the Brown Bridge Dam near Traverse City. This is part of a larger project to remove two dams and modify a third on the waterway.

Bridge photo contributor John Russell reports that the powerhouse was built in 1922; was 33 feet above the waterline; and operated until 2006. The man-made pond behind it became 191 acres, and was drawn down beginning in the fall of 2011.

According to The Boardman, an advocacy group, the process to remove the Brown dam began back in 2005 when discussions started on what to do since the dams were no longer viable energy producers.

For more information about the project, visit

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Sun, 09/16/2012 - 7:26pm
Now THAT's progress!
Wed, 09/19/2012 - 11:34am
This project demonstrates the decline of human intelligence and common sense in America today. For 80 years, this hydroelectric plant was a viable energy source. After that long service, it is only natural that money would need to be invested to maintain it and restore it to production. However, instead of choosing to do that, Traverse City Power & Light decides to spend over $2 million (!) to remove the dam and power generation is lost perhaps forever. 2 years ago, the same utility experienced a failure at its one and only wind generator on M-72, and spent $.75 million to replace the turbine. That turbine generates enough electricity to power perhaps 12 homes. Does ANY of this make sense? The wind generator should have been left idle, and the 3/4 mil pooled with the 2 mil and spent to upgrade Brown Station. Electricity is becoming so expensive that now a significant portion of our population requires subsidies to keep their heat and lights on.