TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) sponsored a Open House on December 11, 2010 for the community to see first hand the rehabilitation work that is taking place on the Lake Blue Ridge Dam.
TVA provided a tent (with heat thank goodness) with lots of historic photos of the dam construction in the mid 1920s and provided special viewing stands to see first hand the being done on the lake side and also allowed people to walk on the road the crosses the dam to see the work being down on the downstream side of the dam. There were many TVA staff to answer any of the visitors questions.
April 1, 2011 is the scheduled date to begin filling the reservoir. In order to ensure the safety of workers while they complete all elements of the dam rehabilitation, TVA drew down the reservoir to an elevation of 1,620 feet about sea level, which for the past three months, there have been about 90 feet of water in the reservoir. Full pool is about 1,680 feet during the summer and the winter pool under normal conditions is usually about 1,660 feet.
TVA undertook the Blue Ridge Dam rehabilitation project to accomplish the following goals:
- To ensure safe operation of the dam.
- Eliminate deep drawdowns of the reservoir, which have historically occurred every five years.
- Repair the buckled penstock (which occurred in the 1930s) and to stabilize the intake tower, which are core structures for proper operation.
- Reinforce the upstream and downstream faces of the dam to provide greater strength in case of seismic event.
Even though the schedule date of April 2011 is set to begin filling the reservoir, TVA will continue to have Old Highway 76 across the dam closed for the two-year duration of the project due to the construction activity and heavy equipment at the site.
And the good news is that the project is on schedule!!!!
Just remember this is necessary and temporary, and we will have our beautiful Lake Blue Ridge in the near future to spend those long lazy days of summer on!
You can sign up for e-mail updates on the progress at www.tva.com/river/blueridge.htm
Information on how TVA manages Blue Ridge is at www.tva.gov/river/lakeinfo/op_guides/blueridge.
For daily operating information, visit www.tva.gov/lakes/brh_r.htm
For homes and land on Lake Blue Ridge, please visit www.ledfordproperties.com
Partial information for my blog was provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority