By Jim Hagerty
Cleanup crews along the Rock River plan to have the area near Fordham Dam cleared of debris by the end of day Friday, Sept. 19.
ComEd External Affairs Manager Paul Callighan said workers have been removing debris from the west river bank, just south of Davis Park, since early Friday morning. A pile of trees and other obstructions caught on the spillway will also be removed.
“Everything needs to be cleared out before winter,” Callighan said.
Callighan said he’s not sure exactly how much waste will be collected in terms of weight or a number of truckloads, but said several logs and fallen trees wedged in the river bed and on the dam have already been cleared.
“We plan to have it all done today,” he said.
The Fordham Dam complex comprises the dam and two parcels: a 4.7-acre piece of land east of the Rock River, near Walnut Street and College Avenue; and a nearby .3-acre, man-made parcel on the west bank of the river, upstream of the dam, east of South Main Street. ComEd is also in the middle of remediation project on the east side of the river to remove contaminants left there by the former Rockford Electric Company and Central Illinois Electric Gas Company (CI&E).
ComEd spends about $60,000 per year to maintain the dam. Those funds consist of property taxes and operational costs. According to county records, taxes on the dam and its two associated parcels total approximately $22,000 per year.
Part of the old Rockford Electric Company, Fordham Dam became part of CI&E in the 1930s. ComEd acquired CI&E in 1966.