Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Muhlenberg Township in Berks County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Removal of the Dams

Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area

 
 
Removal of the Dams Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 28, 2020
1. Removal of the Dams Marker
Inscription.  
The Second Felix Dam
The first Felix Dam was left to deteriorate underwater when construction of the second Dam was completed in 1855. Later, the Schuylkill Canal was abandoned in 1916 and commercial use of the second Felix Dam ended when the last barge locked through in 1932. Recreation gradually declined as well due to decay of the system's locks and dams, and from the ever-increasing coal silt from upstream mines. The Dam was left to deteriorate until it was repaired to establish a pool for the Schuylkill River Desilting Project's dredging operations in the early 1950s. The second Felix Dam was patched for 50 years since the dredging work, when it was damaged in 1998.

Hurricane Floyd
Beginning September 13, 1999, and ending four days later, Hurricane Floyd crawled up the eastern coast of the United States, dumping between 8 and 12 inches of rain. While North Carolina suffered the most devastation, the storm caused 78 deaths, destroyed 7000 homes, caused major electrical outages in eight states, and damaged 81,000 houses.

The second Felix Dam was all ready compromised by the 1998 ice damage
Removal of the Dams Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 28, 2020
2. Removal of the Dams Marker
when the floodwaters of Hurricane Floyd washed out about 80 feet of the structure. Water was forced to the sides, causing erosion to the banks. In December 1999, the PA Dept. of Environmental Resources, Bureau of Waterways Engineering Director Mike Conway stated, "The timing for removal of this dam is crucial." and, "Now that the dam is exposed, it's easily accessible to the public. Because of the damaged timbers, we are very concerned about public safety.

Despite efforts of a local non-profit group devoted to saving the second Dam, and other organizations whose livelihood relied on the pool, demolition of the first and second dams was approved and removal work was completed in November 2007.

[Asides:]
Removing the Dam-2007
1. The Contractor set up equipment on the grassy area above the old desilting dredge slip. It included a heavy-duty chipper to grind the wood beams from the dam. It was also able to handle metal items embedded in wood timbers.

2. A temporary Road between the first and second dams was built to access the river.

3. The road or path between the two dams.

4. A grapple bucket picked up the wooden timbers, one at a time. As the machine moved in the river, the claw was used to test the depth of water and determine the soundness of the river bed. The
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
removed timbers were trucked to the chipper.

Bid Opportunities

[37 Pa.B. 4842]
[Saturday, September 1, 2007]


D06-036-101.1, Felix Dam Removal Project, Bern and Muhlenberg Townships, Berks County.

The principal items of work and approximate quantities include Dam Removal, Riverbank Reconstruction, Dredge Slip Backfilling, Lock 42 Outlet Channel Clearing and Shaping, Dam Abutment Protection, 240 Cubic Yards of Topsoil, Seeding and 1,050 Square Yards of Bituminous Pavement Overlay.

This project issues on August 31, 2007, and bids will be opened on September 27, 2007, at 2 p.m. Bid documents cost $10 per set and will not be mailed until payment has been received.

A mandatory prebid conference is planning for this project but a date has not been set. Use the contact information contained in this advertisement to find out more about the prebid. Failure to attend will be cause for rejection of the bid.

Contact the Construction Contracts Section for more information on this bid.

 
Erected by Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area; Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Muhlenberg Township.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 40° 23.502′ N, 75° 58.175′ W. Marker is in Muhlenberg Township, Pennsylvania, in Berks County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of River Road and Georgetown Drive, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4028 River Rd, Reading PA 19605, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Schuylkill Navigation (a few steps from this marker); Reclaiming the River (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Recreation on the River (about 500 feet away); Damming the River (about 600 feet away); Living with the River (approx. 0.2 miles away); Joseph Hiester (approx. 1.2 miles away); Union Canal (approx. 2 miles away); In Recognition of Warren Haggerty (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Muhlenberg Township.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 29, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 32 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 29, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 8, 2021