October 29, 2013

N.H. residents try to save Lamprey River dam

People in Newmarket go before the Town Council on Wednesday.

The Associated Press

NEWMARKET, N.H. — A group of Newmarket residents wants to save the Macallen Dam on the Lamprey River.

A consultant told town councilors this year that it would cost $234,000 to make repairs and anywhere from $1.1 million to $4.6 million to bring the dam in compliance with a state mandate to handle a 100-year flood.

The consultant said fixing the 126-year-old dam will not be easy because there’s simply no room to expand the size of the dam’s crest. The town has been evaluating its options for the dam.

“Your hands are kind of tied about what you can do at the site,” said Ryan Wingard, senior project manager for Wright-Pierce, the company that did the analysis.

John Perry, who recently handed in a petition signed by about 250 people to the town administrator, told the Portsmouth Herald people are emotionally attached to the dam.

“We see people kayaking in it and canoeing it. And if they remove the dam the only thing that’s going to be left is a pile of mud,” he said.

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