Emrichsville Dam

Remnants of a century-old dam

Located south of 16th Street in the Haughville neighborhood, this low-head dam was constructed in 1899 for aesthetic and recreation purposes as part of the development of Riverside Park upstream. More recently it provided for emergency intake pumps for Indy’s municipal water supply. The dam partially collapsed in 2018, lowering the water levels it was holding back by at least six feet and was replaced by a smaller, safer, and more ecologically-friendly rock dam upstream in Riverside Park. This dam is owned by the City of Indianapolis, and prior to its collapse altered the river for 4.3 miles upstream.

In May 2024, the City received a U.S Fish and Wildlife Service grant to remove Emrichsville Dam, with engineering and permitting to determine precise removal timeline.

Dam Safety! Never go near low-head dams. Water flows swiftly over the wall-like structures and create vortex currents that can trap even the strongest swimmers under water.

There is no formal portage around the dam, but you can make your way along shore on either side of the river.

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