Recently the Huntington District celebrated the beginning of the Phase 5 Stilling Basin of the Bluestone Dam Safety Assurance Mega-Project by holding a ground breaking ceremony.
The ceremony featured speeches by Colonel Jason Evers, Major General Robert Whittle, Frank Piedimonte, President and COO, Brayman Construction Corp; Mayor Jack Scott of the City of Hinton; Senator Shelly Moore-Capito; Congresswoman Carol Miller; Mara Boggs, State Director for Senator Joe Manchin III; and, Mike Hall, Chief of Staff to Governor Jim Justice.
Construction of Bluestone Dam started in 1942 and was operational in 1948. The dam is a concrete gravity structure nearly a half mile long and 165 feet high. Located in Summers County just upstream of Hinton, West Virginia, on the New River, a tributary of the Kanawha River, the dam has a contributing drainage area of approximately 4,600 square miles.
The purpose of the dam is to reduce flood risks along the New, Kanawha, and Ohio River Basins within West Virginia. These are the largest and most populous river valleys in West Virginia. As a result, Bluestone Dam helps protect approximately 160,000 lives and $20 Billion in development.
When the dam is not storing storm waters, it maintains the 11 mile long Bluestone Lake. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources utilizes the lake and surrounding land to provide recreation at the Bluestone State Park and Wildlife Management Area.