Footage of the Bloede Dam blast and breach. (Video courtesy of Elevated Media Concepts, Inc. and Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

Crews blew up a section of the Bloede Dam on Tuesday, launching in earnest a process of removing the structure and restoring a section of the Patapsco River to its natural profile.

The long-awaited blast occurred around midday Tuesday. Now, the rest of the dam will be removed in chunks over the next six weeks, a $17 million project.

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After a century on the Patapsco River, Bloede Dam's removal set to begin with a blast

Demolition of the Bloede Dam, which for more than a century has blocked off wildlife habitat and created unsafe swimming conditions on the Patapsco River, is set to begin next week.

Environmentalists and officials concerned with public safety around the dam wanted the Bloede destroyed because it separates important river wildlife from miles of upstream habitat, and because the dam has played a role in several drowning deaths over the years.

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