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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Agencies Partner for Riverbank Conservation Project Near Port Allegany

PennDOT, the McKean County Conservation District and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission have partnered to stabilize the Allegheny River’s south bank near the Moose Park in Port Allegany.

Using an Agility agreement, which allows an exchange of services with partners to save time and money, PennDOT is providing the labor force and equipment in partnership with the McKean County Commissioners. The agreement ensured that the Conservation District did not have to hire an outside labor force, saving money that can be used on future projects.

“Everybody wins on this,” said PennDOT District Executive Kevin Kline. “The agencies involved save money and time. Area residents get an improved riverbank in Moose Club Park that extends the park’s useful life, and we help protect river habitats for years to come.”

Crews will be on site throughout this week to improve the eroded bank and protect it from further erosion.

Also as part of the project, the McKean County Conservation District is providing the logs, rocks, mulch and other materials, while staff from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission assisted with designing and installation of the project’s structures. The structures include rock vane deflectors, which slow water flow and lessen erosion, and modified mud sill cribs, which provide overhead cover and redirect stream energy to create pools for river habitat.

“The fishing experience on the river will improve as these devices greatly improve aquatic habitat,” said Heather McKean, the District Watershed Conservationist. “Fish will benefit as the sedimentation is decreased and cover is provided by this and similar projects.”

The project has been in development for three years, with increased progress beginning last year. When the embankment improvement is complete, the Conservation District can enter the winter season assured that forthcoming snow and spring melting will not bring further erosion damage to the river bank.

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