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Upper Dam

Construction Updates

October 31, 2016

Our focus at Upper Dam this week has turned to the gatehouse installation and gate commissioning. On Monday, we will be moving a large crane into position between the auxiliary spillway and the new service spillway.

Pedestrian access will be maintained with minor delays.

Vehicular access will require some planning and scheduling with as much notice as possible. Please note – vehicles arriving without prior planning may experience delays of as much as an hour while the crane is attached to a load.

As always, thank you in advance for your cooperation. Please contact Maine.inquiries@brookfieldrenewable.com with any comments or questions. 

Work at Upper Dam is progressing well and the upstream cofferdam is approximately 70% removed. 

Starting this weekend, workers will be removing the section that ties into the roadway crossing the dam. This will require the crane to occupy the roadway prohibiting dam crossings on short notice. As a result, crossing delays should average about 15 minutes or so, but may last up to an hour. Please communicate any planned crossings with on-site staff and we will do our best to accommodate and minimize any delays. 

We are estimating that upstream cofferdam removal will be completed during the week of October 3rd. During the remainder of construction season, we will be building the gatehouse and installing rip rap on the embankments. During this final stretch, there will be an increase in truck traffic on Upper Dam Road as we haul out excess earthwork materials and equipment. Please use extra caution on the road.

Thank you for your patience during this project and contact Maine.inquiries@brookfieldrenewable.com should you have any questions.

Work remaining includes completion of the embankment rip rap, and construction of the new gatehouse and generator building over the split leaf gate bays. Site restoration and de-mobilization activities are underway and should be completed by the end of the year. We remind you to use caution near the construction sites and respect fencing and signage in place. Your safety is our priority.
Activities have resumed at Upper Dam with current undertakings focused on fill sections on either side of the new dam structure. This work will require an excavator working on the upstream cofferdam. Pedestrian access will be available 100% of the time alongside an escort—radio boxes are already in place. Vehicular access is also available 100% of time, but may require a short wait while we relocate the excavator. If you have any questions, please contact Maine.Inquiries@brookfieldrenewable.com.

In accordance with the Temporary Construction Emergency Action Plan (TCEAP), Mooselookmeguntic Lake will be maintained 9" lower than the normal summer operating level during the 2016 construction season. Construction is tentatively scheduled from mid-May until November, 2016.



Located in the headwaters of the Androscoggin River, Upper Dam impounds Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Richardson Town, Maine. Serving as a storage dam without generating capacity, Upper Dam was originally built in the early 1850s to raise the level of the lakes, facilitating the movement of logs downstream. It wasn’t until the 1880s that Upper Dam was used to raise and store water for power generation and manufacturing down the Androscoggin River.

Today, it holds the water for Brookfield Renewable’s 16 downstream power generating facilities on the Androscoggin in both New Hampshire and Maine which have a combined capacity of  approximately 180 MW.

Current Construction Project

Please respect all fencing, signage and safety indications; they are in place to ensure your safety and that of employees and consultants working on the project.

Modifications are being made to the Upper Dam. This work is needed to meet design requirements established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency responsible for licensing hydroelectric facilities. Preliminary work on Upper Dam began in 2009 and construction is expected to conclude by the end of 2016.

During construction, passage across the dams is limited and will restrict fishing and boating access periodically. Brookfield Renewable works with contractors to closely monitor the site and provide access to the docks when it is safe to do so A schedule of the closings will be posted on this website when time permits. We urge you to plan ahead.

Planned modifications to Upper Dam include the following:

Redesign of the downstream slope of the embankments to meet the new requirements

  • Adding additional material along the upstream embankment slope to prevent erosion
  • Raising the elevation of the saddle dike at Upper Dam in the area of the canoe portage to the new design flood elevation; this work will maintain the general character of the portage
  • Rebuilding or replacing the existing spillways and bridges to allow for the design flood flow rates to be safely passed downstream through the structure