Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

July 13, 2013

Forum: Logan's Landing area will be in danger

For nearly eight years, I have been following up on numerous news reports and public comments in the media on the controversial Boardman River Project involving the removal of three dams on the river. On several occasions I have communicated my concerns to various authorities. The Boardman Implementation Team (IT) gave much publicity to the project, highlighting what it perceived to be the benefits in removing the dams. However, many members of the public that included both engineers and laymen, on numerous occasions, wrote to the newspaper disputing and questioning the claims made by the IT.

The project commenced last October aimed at removing the first of the three dams: Brown Bridge Dam. This maneuver was met with controversy when the unexpected failure of the dam caused sudden flooding to over 50 homes. Fortunately there was no loss of life but there was considerable property damage from the resulting flash flood. According to newspaper reports, the project contractor took steps to compensate some of the affected property owners. Also, as revealed by recent news reports (Record-Eagle, May 21) some of the property owners have decided to file action against those responsible, including the City of Traverse City, IT, the Contractor etc., claiming damages for depreciation of their property values, future flooding potential as well as other grievances.

Being a long-term resident of Traverse City with family ties dating back to the 1800s, I am especially interested in the Boardman River’s history and its nature reserves for fishing, bird watching, and photography. Routinely going for hikes on the river with my wife and children, I am well aware of geography of the river. I may not be an expert but as a laymen who cares for the well being of the river and Traverse City, I wonder if those who planned the removal of the three dams have overlooked a critical outcome if the removal proceeds: the potential serious flood danger to the built up area called Logan’s Landing, located on the busy South Airport Road. If the two remaining dams (Boardman and Sabin Dams) are removed, the potential threat for flash flooding of this unprotected valley, including its civic centers and businesses is very real. The quick rising flood waters which will inundate this area will render the main traffic artery known as South Airport impassable, ultimately under water.

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