Will the configuration of the dam change?
There will be no major changes made to the configuration of the dam. The repair work will not change the footprint, size, or configuration of the gate/spillway structure.
Why the change in the direction to go from a rebuild to a repair?
This project has had many moving parts and a long history over the direction of it in pursuing a rebuild or repair. We worked with design engineers and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to pursue alternatives that involved detailed on-site inspections, consultation, and coordination with the FERC New York Regional Office engineers, and an Independent Engineer. In pursuing these alternatives, we found that a repair would meet the dam safety criteria, of accommodating the Inflow Design Flood (IDF) while reducing stakeholder and environmental impacts in comparison to the replacement project.
How does the transition from rebuild to a repair impact permitting?
BWPH refiled and resubmitted the LUPC permit, which reflected the scope of work change from a rebuild to a repair. LUPC approved the permit in October 2020. The permit will help support the development of a new angler trail to access the tailrace, the construction laydown areas, and components of the crane pad placement.
How can I learn more about ongoing project plans?
Periodic updates will be shared regarding the various phases of repairs.
How will the Middle Dam Reconstruction Project be implemented?
The duration of the project will be conducted through several phases of repairs and is expected to take several years.
What does this mean regarding the use of the piers for fishing?
We do not anticipate significant impacts to recreational and fishing access or aquatic habitat with the repair option. We expect the piers, aquatic habitat, and access to the pool to remain as is following the repair efforts.
Please be advised that as of July 28, 2020, the fishing piers are temporarily closed. Due to an incident involving a safety railing at Middle Dam, a safety assessment determined that it is necessary to temporarily close access to the fishing piers for the time being. This closure is unrelated to the ongoing repair project and was not a previously planned event. Access is expected to be restored before the 2021 recreation season.
What is being done to keep smallmouth bass out of Richardson Lake?
The configuration of the current dam has prevented smallmouth bass migration for decades and will continue since the anticipated repairs to the structure will not modify any components critical to preventing the migration of this invasive species. The existing structure will continue to act as an effective bass barrier throughout the phases of repairs.
Will recreation and public access be provided throughout the construction process?
Yes. There will be recreation, public, and angler access throughout the repair project and after completion. Public safety is a core value of Brookfield Renewable and any efforts to temporarily alter the access of the public are not intended to restrict opportunities but rather is to consider the safety of the individuals. The access is subject to change during certain phases of the repair and communication will be made in advance of those changes.
Will this impact minimum flows or lake elevations?
We do not anticipate that the work will affect lake levels or flows. Brookfield White Pine Hydro received temporary variance approvals from FERC and those updates are reflected in the construction and recreation update pages on this website.
Where will the public boat dock be located?
The public boat dock will remain in its current location and no changes in its location are anticipated at this time. Should there be a temporary relocation of the boat dock in future repair phases of the project, a notification will be made in advance.
Where can I go if I have more questions about the repair project?
Updates will continue to be communicated on this website as more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can e-mail your questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.