ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Environmental remediation work is scheduled to begin the week of May 12 at the old Fordam Dam Power Plant site in downtown Rockford. In order to perform the work safely and in compliance with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency standards, the area will be closed to public access, including fishing. The work is expected to take about five months to complete.
The property is owned by ComEd and consists of an almost five acre parcel on the east bank of the Rock River and a parcel of less than one acre on the west end of the Fordam Dam. The remediation will remove contaminants associated with the power plant operations and demolition of the power plant structures on the east side of the river and removal of contaminants identified from soil samples on the west side of the river. The remediation will allow the property to be developed by the City of Rockford into a riverfront park.
The Fordam Dam at Rockford was initially developed in the 1840s as part of the historic Rockford Water Power Company. Water from the Dam was first used for hydroelectric power in 1896 by the Rockford Electric Company and over time the power plant at the site was expanded to include coal-fired steam turbines. The Rockford Electric Company became part of Central Illinois Electric and Gas Company (CIE&G) in the 1930’s, and ComEd acquired CIE&G in 1966. The power plant was closed by ComEd in 1971 and the buildings were demolished in-place in 1975.