Simkins & Bloede Dam Removals – Patapsco River, MD

The removal of the 10-foot-high and 200-foot-wide Simkins Dam and 34-foot-high and 220-foot-wide Bloede Dam in Maryland are part of a larger project to remove all four dams along 175 miles of the Patapsco River and restore habitat to alewife, herring, American shad, stiped bass, and American eel. Inter-Fluve was the prime consultant for design and construction phase services for these projects.

Simkins dam was removed in 2010. Our work included topographic and bathymetric surveying, sediment screening, geomorphic assessment, bank stabilization, and vibration monitoring to prevent damage to a 42-inch sanitary sewer pipe.

The Bloede Dam was what remained of the hydroelectric project constructed in 1906. Power generation was decommissioned in 1920 due to excessive sedimentation issues. The design and permitting of the project was led by Inter-Fluve, which included reconstruction of over 1600LF of 42” PCCP Sanitary trunk line sewer, installation of new dual 12” sanitary siphons under the river, in addition to the dam removal. Total construction cost were $17.9 million. The construction was completed in 2019 and opened over 65 miles of new spawning habitat which supports the local recreational fishery

Bloede dam was constructed in 1906 and decommissioned in 1920 due to excessive sedimentation issues.

After 15 years of planning, the 34-foot-high and 220-foot-wide dam was breached in September 2018 with a dynamite charge.

The removal of Simkins, Union and Bloede dams reopened more than 65 miles of habitat for blueback herring, alewife, American shad, and hickory shad, and more than 183 miles for American eel.

Site of the former Simkins Dam.