It’s another sign of spring and a yearly tradition greeted with much anticipation in Buffalo: The removal of the ice boom from the Niagara River.

The International Joint Commission will begin removing the barrier Monday.

It was another rough winter for the ice boom, which took some damage in the February wind storm.

For more than 50 years, the ice boom has reduced the amount of ice entering the Niagara River during the chilly winter months.

That helps reduce the potential for ice jams, which can damage the shoreline and significantly reduce water flow used for hydro-electric power.