Facebook Page
B&O Photo Tour

B&O Old Main Line
Bloede Dam Removal

Click a photo to see a larger view. Please send your comments and corrections to Steve.

<< Previous (east) | THIS PAGE: Bloede Dam Removal | Next (west) >>

The removal of the Patapsco River's Bloede Dam downstream of Ilchester, Maryland had long been planned. The photos below capture the process while an adjacent sewer line was relocated on the Baltimore County side of the river. A one-quarter-mile stretch of the B&O's historic early railroad engineering work in two forms of 19th century stone track has been destroyed by these efforts and lost. The opportunity to generate eco-friendly hydroelectric power has been lost.

Paving the way for this project was the building of the Grist Mill Trail atop the B&O's original Old Main Line alignment. In legal action, owner CSX ceded the disused B&O route to the state of Maryland ostensibly for the trail. Once the state owned the route it soon began the process of relocating the sewer line there. The Grist Mill Trail was reopened during 2019.

Many readers emailed seeking info and photos of the project.

Pre-demolition (aerial photo courtesy Maryland DNR)
Oct 2002 Nov 2015 Nov 2015 makes electricity May 2018

trail closed no access required gear old B&O track save the fish

Patterson Viaduct (upstream limit of work) May 2018
from Ilchester Road zoom upstream viaduct east end deep cut

Cleanup of May 27, 2018 flood of Ellicott City and Patapsco River basin
washout rebuild road mud splash EC map 1878

Various stones, some B&O stringers, some circa 1830 track blocks, May 2018
retaining wall perhaps to be restored some stringers some blocks mixed

Then (2008) / Now (2018), excavations are deeper than original B&O track and Grist Mill Trail
2008 2018 2008 2018

Nearing dam from upstream, dam not yet removed, May 2018
saved topsoil new culvert wide work area dam pond trail end

Downstream of dam, looking upstream, May 2018
stringers dam sewer work trail end deep zoom

Dam demolition began September 11, 2018 (photos courtesy NOAA)
blast breach

Demolition completed October 25, 2018, cleanup begins as seen from Howard County side
dam rubble dredging fill dirt sewer line new rapids

Trail reopened, photos from July 2019
new trail no dam, lower water approaching bridge at Patterson Viaduct

Fish no longer need to use the ladder to swim 8 more miles upstream -- where there's another dam.
If that dam is also removed, an additional 7 miles upstream are the popular, man-made McKeldin Falls.
Fish that could not scale a fish ladder also won't be able to swim up the McKeldin Falls rapids.

<< Previous (east) | THIS PAGE: Bloede Dam Removal | Next (west) >>

For other tours here now, select from the map: clickable map

Or, return to main page

Copyright Notice