PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) -- The National Park Service has picked a Bozeman, Mont., construction company to remove two massive dams on the Elwha River on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

Officials say dam removal will allow fish to access miles of river that were blocked off decades ago.

The park service announced the nearly $27 million contract to Barnard Construction Co. on Thursday.

Crews will begin tearing down the 108-foot high Elwha Dam and the 210-foot high Glines Canyon Dam in September 2011. It is the nation's largest dam removal to date.

The 45-mile Elwha River was once home to legendary runs of salmon and has important value to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, which led the fight to tear down the dams. Most of the river is in the Olympic National Park.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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