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Daniel-Johnson Dam, Baie Comeau

Categories: Dams, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web
The Daniel-Johnson Dam, formerly known as Manic-5, is a multiple-arch buttress dam on the Manicouagan River that creates the annular Manicouagan Reservoir. The dam is composed of 14 buttresses and 13 arches and is 214 km north of Baie-Comeau in Quebec, Canada. The dam was constructed between 1959 and 1970 for the purpose of hydroelectric power production and supplies water to the Manic-5 and Manic-5-PA power houses with a combined capacity of 2,596 MW. The dam is 214 m tall, 1,314 m long and contains 2,200,000 m3 of concrete, making it the largest dam of its type in the world.The dam was named after Daniel Johnson, Sr., the 20th Premier of Quebec who was responsible for starting the project while being minister in Duplessis' government. Johnson died on 26 September 1968, on the day he was to preside over the scheduled inauguration of the dam. The facility is owned and operated by Hydro-Québec.BackgroundDuring the summers of 1919 and 1920, hydrological studies were conducted on the Manicouagan and Outardes rivers, flowing into the St. Lawrence near the town of Baie-Comeau. The combined flow was then estimated at 40 million cubic meters, making it one of the largest hydrological systems in Canada. Although harnessing of this potential was considered interesting, its distance from major load centers and the lack of roads in the area were identified as major drawbacks. In addition, building dams in the wilderness was considered too costly.
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  • Trip wonderful and quite surprising I n never saw a dam close so I can say I'm spoiled me... the only regret c is that we arrived on 1 September and guided tours closed August 31... a shame... they should close after labor day... but hey...
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  • The road to go is very winding, but offers spectacular landscapes. Very interesting 2 hours tour terrace and dining room (bring your food nothing available on-site). Very friendly staff, and do not miss to visit the exhibition.
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  • We got a guided tour of this surprising dam after more than 2 h 30 drive on the twisty 389 from Baie-Comeau. But it's worth the trip! Difficult to assess the size of the dam on photo, must be on-site to comprehend the vastness of this structure. We also visited the plant inside with an excellent guide. The bus then brings you to the foot of the dam and on the dam without costs! Considering that Hydro-Québec belongs to all Quebecers, this makes sense. But, it may be appropriate to charge an entry fee for foreign tourists. Apart from this small reflection on tariffs, the rest is excellent from every point of view!
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