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Closing dams in Ypsi Township could create thriving nature "oasis"

The Beyer dam in Ypsilanti Township
Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office
The Beyer dam in Ypsilanti Township

A pair of dams in Ypsilanti Township could be removed in the coming years. The only thing left to find is a way to pay for it.

When the Tyler Road dam and the Beyer dam were built, World War II was just underway. More than seven decades later, the dams located on the west side of the Willow Run airport are well past their prime.

The cost of removing them is estimated to be around $10 million. The county is currently working to gather funding from state and federal grants.

Evan Pratt, the county’s Water Resources Commissioner, says this is more of a stream restoration project.

“The dam removal, in some ways, is the most straightforward part. Getting concrete out of a creek is fairly straightforward, but trying to restore the natural habitat is a little bit more challenging.”

Pratt says removing the dams will eliminate the annual cost of maintaining them. He also says there’s potential for the area to develop into a thriving nature oasis.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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