CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Construction is underway at Szot Park in Chicopee to address issues with the conditions of the dam there.

According to the city department of parks and recreation, the lower dam was reported to have been in poor condition, prompting the department to work with the city planning department on a project to restore the area back to a natural stream.

Rich Johnson of Holland was visiting the park Monday. He told 22News, “Whenever we’re here in Springfield, we take the opportunity to come here to Szot Park to walk because it’s a gorgeous park. It’s just a good opportunity. There used to be a lovely little pond down here that was nice to walk around, so we were curious what was going on. Now we find they’re trying to return it to its natural stream that it was, and it may be a loss, it may be an advantage, we don’t know.”

This “Abbey Brook Restoration Project” is funded by federal grants and includes three phases:

  • Lower dam removal
  • Front Street & Chicopee Electric light culvert removal
  • Upper dam removal

Work is expected to be completed by July of 2024.