Demolition of Pigg River Dam opens up southwest Virginia river

A look at Day 60 of the dam demolition project. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (AP) – Workers have finished demolishing a defunct dam on the Pigg River in Franklin County, a move advocates say will open up the waterway for recreation and improve wildlife habitat.

A joint statement Thursday from the Friends of the Rivers of Virginia and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Power Dam near Rocky Mount was the last major barrier on a 75-mile stretch of the river.

The statement says the project is expected to reduce flooding risks and open up new areas for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. It says the dam removal will also help species including the federally endangered Roanoke logperch as well as declining Roanoke bass, orangefin madtom and bigeye jumprock populations.

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