Paddlers scouting out conditions at the Great Works site two years after dam removal in preparation for the August 2014 Bashabez Run.
Great Works Dam Removal Project
The Great Works Dam was located on the
Penobscot River in Old Town and Bradley, Maine, and the property is owned by the
River Restoration Trust. Removal work on the dam began
early June 2012 and was largely complete by the end of November. Contractor R.F. Jordan
and Sons of Ellsworth, Maine removed approximately 10,000 cubic
yards of material from the river, including concrete, timber, and
Here is a photo of the Great Works Site from June 2012 compared with a photo from September - these were taken from roughly the same vantage point:
Below - 48 second video of Great Works Dam Site
Video of the Great Works Dam Site early September 2012 from Penobscot River Trust on Vimeo.
Great Works Dam removal began on June 11, 2012, and was widely celebrated as a milestone step in the restoration of the Penobscot River.
Watch video of opening ceremony.
And so it begins ... feature article in the Autumn 2012 issue of Atlantic Salmon Journal
One-minute video of Great Works Dam breaching on June 23, 2012
Great Works Project Fact Sheet
Secretary of Interior celebrates Penobscot River milestone: read DOI press release on June 11, 2012 event
Other Media Highlights:
Check out coverage from the New York Times, Bangor Daily News (article and video), Portland Press Herald (article and videos), and Boston Globe or peruse Blogs
Great Works Quick Facts
Height: ~ 19 feet
Length: ~ 1,000 feet
Impoundment length: 1.7 miles
Year built: 1887
The original Great Works Dam was
constructed in the 1830s and partially demolished in approximately 1887 when
the current Great Works Dam was constructed. The current dam was originally
constructed and owned by the Penobscot Chemical Fibre Company. Diamond
International Corporation acquired the mill and dam in 1968. The dam and
powerhouse facilities were sold several times over the next few decades, and
were most recently purchased in 2010 by the Penobscot River Restoration Trust
from hydropower company PPL Corporation, based on an agreement that was signed
in 2004. The agreement allowed the Trust to purchase certain dams in exchange
for energy generation enhancements at other sites in the Penobscot watershed,
with the aim of rebalancing the use of the river to accommodate the 11 species
of native sea run fish that attempt to use the river to migrate each year while
maintaining hydropower generation capacity.
Above: Great Works Dam, Photo by Ed Hughes