Local communities, Corps of Engineers to observe 50th anniversary of completion of West Thompson Lake project

West Thompson LakeThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, the communities of North Grosvernordale, Thompson and Putnam, along with several other agencies and groups will observe the 50th anniversary of the construction of the West Thompson Lake project in a ceremony on Oct. 3, 2015 at the Overlook Picnic Shelter in Thompson, Conn.

“This project is a great example of applied engineering and science successfully mitigating flood risk and damage, and adding immeasurable value to the region,” said District Engineer Col. Christopher Barron, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, headquartered in Concord, Mass. “This dam has protected downstream citizens in Connecticut for 50 years. It has proven to be a very successful investment of time and money, preventing more than $56.4 million in flood damages since its construction.”

Construction of the dam at West Thompson Lake, on the Quinebaug River in Thompson, was begun in August 1963 and completed in October 1965. Cost of the project was $7 million.

A ceremony to observe the 50th anniversary of the completion of the flood risk management dam will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 starting at 10 a.m. at the West Thompson Lake Overlook Picnic Shelter, located at 162 West Thompson Road in North Grosvernordale, Conn. The Corps’ New England District Color Guard will open the ceremony at 10 a.m. There will be guided tours of the dam for visitors, historical displays, children’s activities and much more.  Activities will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The West Thompson Lake project provides flood risk management to residential, commercial, and industrial property in the city of Putnam and downstream communities on the Quinebaug River. Operating in conjunction with other Corps-constructed dams in the Thames River Basin, the project also helps reduce flood risk to many downstream communities in Connecticut, including Danielson, Plainfield and Norwich.

The project consists of an earth-fill dam with stone slope protection 2,550-feet-long and 70-feet-high. The lake can store 8.34 billion gallons of water for flood control purposes. Picnicking, hiking, boating, fishing, camping, and hunting are enjoyed by more than 96,300 visitors annually visiting West Thompson. The Corps manages 2,059 acres of land and water at West Thompson Lake stretching six miles from Putnam to the Massachusetts border. Three picnic shelters are popular for outdoor weddings, family reunions and other group functions. West Thompson Lake Campground offers 24 campsites (11 basic sites, 11 premium sites with electrical and water hookups, and two lean-to shelters) in a quiet, wooded environment.

For up-to-date information, call the West Thompson Lake Park Office at (860) 923-2982 or visit the lakes’ web site at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/WestThompsonLake.aspx.

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