Dam demolition delayed– slightly

The equipment is in place to send the Woolen Mills dam into history, a project that's been in the works for six years.

The partial breach was supposed to begin today, but a just-returned-from-vacation member of the Army Corps of Engineers wanted to look at the plans again, particularly for the re-vegetation work that will take place once the dam is down, says project coordinator Jason Halbert. The engineer already has issued a permit, and Halbert expects the breach to begin in the next day or two.

"The plan is to drop it slowly," he says. "Who knows what we'll find? There could be surprises."

Shelbeck Excavation of Fluvanna is doing the demolition, and dump trucks continue to bring in loads of rock to build a causeway to enable a Trackhoe to take down most of the 270-foot dam, leaving 75 feet as a reminder of the days when water powered early industry at Woolen Mills.