Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gordon Dam

Gordon Dam

Location South West Tasmania

Gordon River Dam, also known as Gordon Dam, is a double curvature arch dam on the Gordon River in Tasmania. Its height is 140 metres (460 ft), making it the tallest dam in Tasmania and the fifth-tallest in Australia.[1]

In 1963, the Federal Government of Australia provided a A$5 million grant to Tasmania's Hydro-Electric Commission (HEC) to build the Gordon River Road from Maydena into the Gordon River area in the South West Wilderness region. [2] It was being built by 1964, and within three years, the HEC supportive Tasmanian State Parliament approved Gordon River Power Development with little in house opposition in 1967.

The completed Gordon Dam was the only dam built on the Gordon river, despite the support of Tasmanian politicians such as Eric Reece Robyn Gray and others to further dam the river downstream (see Franklin Dam).

The dam was designed with Dr Sergio Guidici as the the chief Hydro Engineer - he went on to be involved with the design of the Crotty Dam in the West Coast Range, one of the last significant dams created by the HEC during its unabated dam-building era.

In engineering criteria, the Gordon Dam, the Gordon Power Station and the Lake Pedder and Lake Gordon impoundments are often conflated into one project and accomplishment.

However, the dam simply impounded the Gordon river, and created Lake Gordon. The McCarltans Pass canal was the connection between the signifacntly altered Lake Pedder impoundment, as that lake was created as much by the Scotts Peak Dam and this is often not mentioned in more general tourist-oriented material.

The set of ladders on the left hand side is used for bi-weekly inspection of the dam.

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