Freedom—January 17, 2021—I visited the dam last week to take some final photographs of the project. I had hoped to photograph the gate operation, but unfortunately I was not contacted, and the contractor has left the site and the project is effectively completed. The current photos of the new dam follow:
Photo 1: This is a view of the upstream side of the new dam, at the lower end of Berry Bay, with our lake waters now flowing through. The vertical steel beams provide the supports for placing (lowering) the wooden drop blocks, when gate service or maintenance is required or necessary. Conceptually, the new design replicates the design of the drop blocks in the old dam, which was removed during the dam replacement project.
Photo 2: This shows the stone ballast upstream from the dam, located at the actual site of the original dam. The water is gently flowing out of the lake toward the ocean. The lake bed restoration looks very natural, and awaits the rising waters of the spring.
Photo 3: Looking across the catwalk atop the new dam. The two hydraulically-operated gates are currently in the low, or down, position, and water is slowly flowing over them.
Photo 4: This shows the outfall, looking downstream from the new dam. The reconstructed riverbed currently has a small amount of water flowing over it and headed for Maine. That will certainly change a bit when the spring snowmelt occurs!
Photo 5: The catwalk across the top of the new dam, with the new headhouse at the far end. The emergency generator and the hydraulic equipment are housed in the headhouse, as well as the drop blocks which can be lowered into the steel beams when gate maintenance and service are required. This catwalk is now accessible from the stairs rising up from the “peninsula,” which is situated between the two headhouses and extends some distance downstream.
Photo 6: This close-up shows the hydraulic actuator for one of the two gates. When activated in the spring, the gates may be raised to detain the water, ultimately bringing the lake water level up to Elevation 407.25 ft. The drop gates beneath the older headhouse will also be raised or lowered to maintain the lake water level.
Photo 7: View of the grassy area (under the snow) between the old headhouse and the new one. Between the two headhouses, in the distance, the propane tank platform can be seen. The propane provides fuel for the emergency generator.
Photo 8: Another view looking downstream from the new dam. When looking down at the lowered gate in this bay I noticed a fish swimming in the shallow waters flowing over the lowered gate. Unfortunately it was not very photogenic, and swam out of view before I could take a photo of it. The overall appearance of the riverbed reflects the great job the Charter Construction Co. crew performed in restoring the terrain that was disturbed during the construction of the dam.
Photo 9: The two headhouses at our dam. The bulk of the outflow of water from the lake is currently flowing through the open gates under the older headhouse. The finishes on the new headhouse blend nicely with the surrounding landscape, and its presence creates a low visual impact on the overall site.
As winter wanes and spring arrives, it will be interesting to view the raised gates as they retain the lake and bay waters, once again providing the watery playground for our summer enjoyment!