Project Name: Howland Dam Fish Bypass Channel
Summary: Design of one of the largest nature-like fish bypasses in the United States
Client: Penobscot River Restoration Trust
Project Location: Howland, Maine
• Existing Hydro Facility and Equipment Condition Assessment
• Powerhouse and Dam Decommissioning Studies and Design
• Environmental Assessment
• Dam Safety and Structural Assessments
• Gates and Water Control Design
• Nature-like Fish Passage Final Design
• Stream Channel Modeling and Design
• Fish Habitat Structure Design
• Bid Specifications and Drawings
• Federal/State Agency Consultation and State/Local Permitting
• Construction Services
Project Timeframe: 2014 - 2016
Relationship with Client: Since 2007
Decommissioning of the Howland Dam and construction of the fish bypass implements a portion of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order approving the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s (PRRT’s) applications to surrender the licenses for the Howland Project and two other projects on the Penobscot River in Maine. These actions are all integral components of one of the largest river restoration projects in the United States. A preliminary design for the fish bypass was completed by another consultant and was used by PRRT to obtain regulatory permissions for the project. PRRT needed a consultant to complete final design of the bypass and additional decommissioning actions.
PRRT retained Kleinschmidt and its team of technical experts to prepare final design plans for the proposed bypass channel and decommissioning of the powerhouse, complete the geotechnical exploration and design, and conduct an environmental investigation relative to soils management. The nature-like fish bypass channel extends approximately 1,000 feet and consists of a broadly sweeping meander bend, with radius of approximately 400 feet and includes a multi-stage cross section, with a 26 foot wide (top width) low flow channel that sweeps to the outside of the bend, and a mildly sloping high flow overbank area that extends to the inside of the bend. As part of this process, the Kleinschmidt team and PRRT coordinated with project partners and federal and state regulatory agencies via regular meetings and correspondence to develop the design. Commissioning of the channel was completed in the fall of 2015 with full site restoration completed in early 2016.
Kleinschmidt’s leadership in all aspects of this multi-dimensional effort has kept the project progressing through many engineering, permitting, and public relations issues. Our strong managerial and communication skills addressed the varied interests of the large group of project stakeholders helping PRRT through this complex and innovative project.