California News

Jun 21, 2013 7:48 AM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

State's largest dam removal project groundbreaking


SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) - A 92-year-old dam that's been in danger of collapse for decades is slated for demolition this summer.

It is the largest dam to come down in California history.

The $83 million, 28-month tear down is prompting hopes that the 36-mile waterway once listed among "America's Top Ten Most Endangered Rivers" might someday be restored to the quiet, clear waters that flowed from forested mountains to the Monterey Bay.

The Carmel River was described in 1945 by John Steinbeck in "Cannery Row" as a lovely river.

Over the years, a destructive combination of pollution, overuse, forest fires and sedimentation has caved in the banks and congested the waterway, which dries to a trickle in summer months and is rarely deeper than waist-high, even in wet winters.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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