Thursday, July 14, 2022

1919 29mw Stevenson Dam on Housatonic River creates Lake Zoar


The Google Map labels are wrong because it is not the Lake Zoar Dam. It is the Stevenson Dam that creates Lake Zoar.

Street View, Sep 2019

"It is a hydroelectric power plant that opened in 1919 along with the dam. At the time it had 3 turbine generators creating a total of 19 MW of power. In 1936 a fourth unit was added and with it 12 more MW. Today, the plant produces a total of 28.9 MW of power....The dam is also one of the few in the US that carries a major highway over it." [StoryMaps]

Laura Santos, Released into the Public Domain

Laura Santos, Released into the Public Domain

1st of 23 photos via ctpost
The Stevenson Dam, seen here from the west shore of the Housatonic River in Monroe, Conn. Aug. 30, 2017. Construction of the dam began in 1917.
Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

There was a "coal famine" in 1916. So the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad started building this dam in 1917 to help power its electric locomotives. It was finished in 1919. [ctpost]

17th of 23 photos via ctpost
Oxford Historical Society / Contributed Photo
[There are a couple more construction photos on this web page.]

"Stevenson Dam is only one of two dams in the country that has a public road over the top. (The Hoover Dam being the other.) But as we all know, that's not going to last much longer." [NewTownBee]
I know this is not true because at least some of the TVA dams have a road across the top. Below is AL-101 on Wheeler Dam. The other TVA dams we visited, Wilson and Pickwick Landing Dams, also have a road across their top. But when we visited Wilson in Feb 2022, the road was closed. That dam does have an alternative bridge nearby.
Dennis DeBruler

The bridge on top of the dam needs to be replaced. The current plan is to build a replacement downstream of the dam.

An eel ladder was installed as an experiment. But it failed.

I presume the eel ladder the narrow spillway to the left of the two controllable spillways.

The narrow spillway is in the shadows so it is hard to see.

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