MADISON, N.C. (WGHP) — From protecting endangered fish to opening up new places to swim on the Dan River, it’s no wonder Madison is celebrating the end of its dam restoration project.
The town is now one of six places in the United States and the only place in North Carolina to replace its old dam with a rock weir system, built from more than 10,000 tons of boulders.
“This is a historic moment for the Town of Madison,” said Madison Mayor David Myers.
On Friday, the town opens the Madison River Park to public after months of work.
The park, located on Lindsey Bridge Road, will open up a portion of the river previously closed off to the public, and soon you’ll be able to hop in the water to go paddling, canoeing, kayaking or tubing.
With a widened concrete boat launch, it will be easier for kayakers and tubers to get into the water.
And it’s not just opening up new waters for people.
The Roanoke Logperch, a federally endanger species of fish, will be able to swim up previously blocked passageways giving them another 50 miles to live and explore.
The town estimates that the park could bring in about 250,000 visitors a year with more than $30 million entering the local economy through tourism.