Pawtucket Falls Dam Inspires Awe! Great Stone Dam ~ not So Much

Great Stone Dam across the Merrimack River at Lawrence Massachusetts from the ENEL website . The crestgate system installed by ENEL is visible enough for you to see what a so-called “bladder” dam looks like.

Another view of the Great Stone Dam, May 2010 courtesy of Corey Sciuto. This view allows for a fuller look at the area surrounding the dam site in Lawrence.

With the recent “approval” by FERC of the ENEL proposal for the historic Pawtucket Falls Dam, I thought that  these two photos “up” the Merrimack River in Lowell would provide an opportunity to compare the Lowell dam with the Lawrence dam regarding site, impression and impact.

Pawtucket Falls Dam as viewed from the Pawtucket/School Street Bridge

Pawtucket Falls Dam, May 2006 photo courtesy of Corey Sciuto





3 Responses to Pawtucket Falls Dam Inspires Awe! Great Stone Dam ~ not So Much

  1. kad barma says:

    No question that the pin and board system looks broken down by comparison. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the aesthetics argument–it just doesn’t hold water.

  2. Bob Gagnon says:

    I never thought much about the flashboards growing up. I always wondered why they didn’t just build up the granite instead of replacing the flashboards every spring. When the flashboards didn’t bend to release the water during the floods of 06 and 07, as they were originally designed to, I thought they were pretty ugly too. When the newer, weaker flashboards bent over and released the water during the floods of 2010. and we didn’t flood like the rest of the state during the rainiest month on record, those bent flashboards were a beautiful sight. The action of the flashboards bending and releasing the basin of water, early in the spring to prevent flooding, that’s the beauty.