Work underway to demolish the Estabrook Dam

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Construction crews are on sight to take down the Estabrook Dam.

Last week, hydraulic hammers starting chipping away at the limestone and concrete. For the Milwaukee Riverkeeper, an environmental group, this is something they've waited for along time.

“We really think this is a win, win for the environment and the community and we are excited to see the dam finally coming out," said Cheryl Nenn, Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

The Estabrook Dam has been around since 1937.

About ten years ago, the Department of Natural Resources ordered Miwaukee County to repair the dam or demolish it.

“We were really concerned about the degrading condition of the dam so we filed a lawsuit to have it declared a public nuisance,” said Nenn.

The Milwaukee Riverkeeper was concerned the dam would impact the water quality and fish movement.

In 2016, the Milwaukee County Executive sold the parcel of land to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District for $1 to demolish the dam.

“We are working to remove the fixed crest spill way which is constructed of concrete and limestone and so they are working to demolish it today,” said Jeremy Triebenbach, the senior project manager with MMSD.

MMSD said the demolition of the dam could impact some homeowners who live upstream.

“The district is in charge of the flooding in the Milwaukee river basin and so removing dam removes about 50 homes from the floodplain,” said Treibenbach.

Once the demolition is complete the land will be turned over to the county to use as park land. Crews expect to finish the project on May 1st but it depend on the weather.

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