MILFORD — Work has finally begun on a project that will deepen three ponds in the city The Upper Duck Pond.

All three ponds are along the Wepawaug River, which drains into Milford Harbor. Officials say the three have silted up to the point where waterfowl can seemingly walk on water. They haven’t been dredged since the 1970s.

It was hoped that the $2 million project could begin late last year, but an early and long cold snap and a delay in obtaining turbidity curtains halted operations.

The project requires above-freezing temperatures to permit “de-watering” of the excavated muck.

The project required an extensive permitting procedure; the contact is about 350 pages long and deals with such details as the handling of the excavated silt, protection of reptiles and amphibians.

Last fall, the Board of Aldermen agreed to purchase about 10 acres near the transfer station to store the muck that will be excavated.

City officials say the project is needed to keep Milford Harbor from silting up prematurely.

The first pond to get dredged is the North Street Duck Pond. About 15,000 cubic yards of silt will be removed in all.

jburgeson@ctpost.com