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The Milltown Generating Station in St. Stephen. Image: Submitted/Atlantic Salmon Federation

Cofferdam collapses during Milltown dam decommissioning

By Brad Perry Dec 15, 2023 | 12:49 PM

Work to decommission the Milltown Generating Station had to be suspended earlier this week.

This after a temporary earthen cofferdam was washed away following recent heavy rain.

NB Power said no one was injured during the incident, which happened on Tuesday.

Officials said the cofferdam was being removed when it was compromised due to heightened water flows.

“As a result, the earthen cofferdam eroded and was washed away,” the utility said in a news release.

Cofferdams are watertight enclosures from which water is pumped to expose the bed of a body of water to allow for specific work to take place.

NB Power said there is no risk of flooding as a result of the incident.

It said officials from the utility and their contractor have secured the site and are actively monitoring the situation.

“NB Power is collaborating with regulatory agencies on both sides of the international border to provide information as it becomes available and will be conducting a comprehensive third-party investigation,” said the release.

Work to decommission the century-old dam along the St. Croix River began this summer.

Officials said the $20-million project has to be done by the end of April, ahead of the annual fish passage.