Elba Dam to be torn down in federal project

ELBA, Ala (WDHN) — A nearly $2 million plan to remove an “obsolete” and possibly dangerous dam in Coffee County has been announced.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the $1,931,465 project will break down and remove the unusable Elba Hydroelectric Dam, which has become a hazard to the people of Coffee County, fish and wildlife, including Endangered Species Act-listed fish and mussels.

“This damaged dam poses a safety issue to the community as a navigation hazard, potential source of contaminants, and by increasing flooding risk to the town of Elba,” said a release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The release says the dam is also the only barrier for fish passage on the Choctawhatchee River basin, and removing it would increase access to habitat types used by threatened and endangered fish and mussel species by 29%.

The FWS is executing the plan in partnership with the Choctawhatchee, Pea, and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority.

The project to remove the Elba Hydroelectric Dam is part of a $70 million initiative to do away with “outdated and obsolete barriers” on waterways in 43 projects across 29 states.

To see the complete list of projects, click here.

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