Fish, humans and the overall Falls Brook, New Hampshire area ecosystem are expected to benefit from a culvert replacement project on Hale Hill Road.
The Cheshire County Conservation District teamed up with the town and several public and private agencies to make the $245,840 project happen.
The work replaced a 6-foot-diameter culvert that carries Falls Brook under Hale Hill Road with one four times that size, which is arc-shaped, rather than round, thus channeling more water with the same height. The culvert was half a century old, and needed to be replaced.
District manager for the Cheshire County Conservation District Amanda J.C. Littleton said the culvert became a barrier for fish trying to swim upstream, in part because it forced the fish to navigate a small, dark pipe. The new culvert is not only larger, but designed with a natural brook bottom, Littleton said.
Littelton said the result is the opening of more than 10 miles of upstream habitat, and about 30 miles of interconnected high quality habitat within the river network.
The new culvert better manages the brook’s flow during storms, which now happen more frequently. This reduces erosion and flooding.