The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Bluestone Dam

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Bluestone Dam as seen from Bellepoint Park at Bellepoint
Bluestone Dam as seen from W.Va. 3 bridge at Hinton, WV

Bluestone Dam is an reinforced concrete gravity dam on the New River near Hinton, WV, in Summers County, and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam creates 2,040 acre Bluestone Lake and is 165 feet high and 2,048 feet long. More than 7,800 tons of steel and 942,000 cubic yards of concrete were used in construction. The structure is 16 feet wide at its crest and 200 feet thick at its base, according to a corps report.

Its construction was authorized Presidential Executive Order in 1935 and approved by the U.S. Congress in the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938. Construction commenced in early 1941 but suspended in 1944 as a result of World War II. Work resumed in 1946, and the dam was made operable in 1949. However, construction is ongoing, and the corps is currently performing spillway improvements, raising the height of the dam by eight feet, and installing anchors and thrust blocks to tie the dam into the bedrock. Plans to improve the dam for use in the production of hydroelectric power have long been made, though construction of a power generation facility there have never come to fruition.