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Traverse City gets $1M grant to support FishPass project

TRAVERSE CITY — The city of Traverse City has secured a $1,000,000 EGLE Dam Risk Reduction Grant to support construction of FishPass at the site of the Union Street Dam.

The project, set to commence this spring, is the result of nearly two decades of efforts to restore the Boardman/Ottaway River and reconnect it with Lake Michigan. It aims to replace the deteriorating Union Street Dam with a new barrier that selectively allows certain fish species while preventing invasive ones like sea lamprey.

The grant will help close a funding gap created by increased project costs associated with delays in the project timeline. Construction will begin with critical “wet” work elements, including dam replacement and fish passage channel development, starting in June 2024 and is expected to finish by 2026.


Simultaneously, efforts to finalize costs and funding for “dry” elements such as an educational facility andlandscaping enhancements will be underway, with construction slated to begin in 2026 or earlier.

City Manager Liz Vogel expressed enthusiasm over the continued funding for the project.

“This grant award is another step toward our strategy to secure funding in full for the FishPass. We eagerly anticipate seeing the project come to life this spring, as replacing the Union Street dam is crucial for public safety,” she said.

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