Mactaquac Dam

Mactaquac Dam

The Mactaquac Dam is a hydroelectric dam built on the Saint John River in the Canadian province of New Brunswick and operated by NB Power corporation. Its power house has a capacity of 672 megawatts with its 6 turbines. The 6 turbines generate 20 percent of New Brunswick's power.

The dam and power house are located approximately 15 km upstream from the provincial capital Fredericton. The dam itself is a rock-fill structure sealed by clay and combined with a concrete spill-way, forming an arch across a narrow section of the river between Kingsclear on the west bank, and Keswick Ridge on the east bank.

Rising 40 metres in height above the river level, the reservoir (referred to locally as the "head pond") covers 87 square kilometres and extends 96 kilometres upstream, near Woodstock. The dam and powerhouse are a "run of the river" design, meaning that the reservoir has no additional holding capacity in the event of unusually high water flows, such as during the spring freshet.

The concrete portions of the dam (namely the spill-way) are currently experiencing a problem of expanding concrete. When built, locally quarried greywacke was used as the aggregate and is believed to be responsible for the alkali aggregate reaction expansion. The dam is being monitored and extra maintenance work is being performed, although the spill-way is expected to have a reduced life expectancy. The earliest projections put the dam's end-of-life at 2013, instead of the original 100-year lifespan of 2068. [ [ CBC - Report says Mactaquac Power Station in trouble] ]

Kingsclear, NB is also the site of an Atlantic Salmon fish hatchery, located immediately downstream from the dam. The Mactaquac Dam also has a fish ladder to enable migratory fish to move past the obstruction the dam poses.

The dam also serves as a locally important public road bridge across the St. John River, linking provincial highways 102 and 105 on the south and north sides of the river.

Flooding of the head pond

Electrical generation began in 1968 after the reservoir had completely filled. The flooding of the valley resulted in the displacement of several thousand residents and land owners, as well as the abandonment of a Canadian National Railway line and numerous local roads and several communities. An historic waterfall was also submerged as the reservoir filled.

The planned town of Nackawic, New Brunswick and the nearby Ste-Anne-de-Nackawic pulp and paper mill were built to accommodate the new reservoir and power opportunities.

Following the success of preserving historic buildings at Upper Canada Village when the upper St. Lawrence River valley was flooded by the Long Sault Dam, the government of New Brunswick created the King's Landing Historical Settlement to save several buildings which would otherwise have been flooded by the Mactaquac headpond. Mactaquac Provincial Park was also created as a result of the dam. The recreational facilities and economic development spawned by the dam are said to be inspired by the Tennessee Valley Authority, which undertook several similar projects in the southern United States.


External links

* [ NB Power Corporation]
* [ Mactaquac Country Chamber of Commerce]

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