New French River Dam Opened in Ontario

The dam is one of three dams that control the outflow from Lake Nipissing. They're essential for maintaining its water level and for regulating the flow of water into the French River. During the $21.9 million replacement project, new dams were built slightly downstream from the original dams, which were then removed.

The new Big Chaudière Dam in Dokis, Ontario, has been opened, Canadian authorities announced Aug. 14, calling it a modern, reliable public infrastructure project. Marc Serré, a member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, announced the opening of the dam, which is located downstream of Lake Nipissing and along the French River in the Nipissing–Timiskaming District of Ontario; he highlighted the government of Canada's commitment to collaborating with the Dokis First Nation on the project, including hiring 15 Dokis First Nation laborers and 10 other local workers for the project.

The dam is one of three dams that control the outflow from Lake Nipissing. They're essential for maintaining its water level and for regulating the flow of water into the French River. The original Big Chaudière Dam was built between 1910 and 1916 with a south channel dam and a north channel dam. During the $21.9 million replacement project, new dams were built slightly downstream from the original dams, which were then removed.

Following the Canadian Dam Association's Dam Safety Guidelines, the new dams have:

  • a south channel dam with one mechanical gate for water control levels equipped with maintenance stoplogs
  • a north channel dam with two mechanical gates for water control levels equipped with maintenance stoplogs
  • a south dam deck that provides access to a parking area on the island located between the south dam and the north dam

"Our government is proud to work with First Nations communities, like the Dokis First Nation, to achieve our common priorities in building a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and more prosperous, safer communities for future generations by ensuring safe and modern public infrastructure," said Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

"Our government realizes the importance of modern public infrastructure, such as the Big Chaudière Dam. Sustainable, safe, and reliable infrastructure assets contribute to local quality of life, tourism, and recreation and encourage economic development," added Serré.

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