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Bluestone Lake
USACE Bluestone Dam.jpg
Bluestone Dam
Bluestone Lake is located in West Virginia
Bluestone Lake
Bluestone Lake
Location in West Virginia
Location West Virginia/Virginia
Coordinates 37°38′25″N 80°53′09″W / 37.64028°N 80.88583°W / 37.64028; -80.88583
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows New River
Catchment area 4,565 sq mi (11,820 km2)
Built January 1952 (1952-01)
Max. length 10.7 mi (17.2 km)
Surface area 2,040 acres (830 ha)
Settlements Hinton, West Virginia

Bluestone Lake is a flood control reservoir located on the New River near Hinton, West Virginia. At its normal pool level, Bluestone Dam impounds a 10.7-mile (17.2 km) stretch of the New and its tributary, the Bluestone River. Normally approximately 2,040 acres (8.3 km2) in size, the lake can grow to over 36 miles (58 km) long at flood control pool. At higher water levels, the lake extends into Giles County, Virginia.

Bluestone Dam

The lake is formed by Bluestone Dam, a concrete gravity dam located just upstream of the confluence of the New and Greenbrier Rivers. The dam is 165 feet (50 m) high and 2,048 feet (624 m) long. The dam was authorized by Presidential Executive Order in 1935 and approved by the U.S. Congress in the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938. Construction of the project was begun in early 1941, suspended in 1944 because of World War II. Work resumed in 1946, and completed for operational purposes in 1949.

In recent years, it was discovered that Bluestone Dam would be unable to pass the Probable Maximum Flood possible at the site, which could cause failure of the dam. To remedy the problem, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has undertaken a Dam Safety Assurance program for Bluestone. The DSA project includes raising the dam by 8 feet (2.4 m), installing anchors and thrust blocks to tie the dam into bedrock, spillway improvements and other work. The first phase of the project was completed in October 2004. The second phase, installing bedrock anchors, is underway as of March 2010 and expected to be finished in 2011. Three additional phases remain to be constructed.

Recreation

Due to its large size, Bluestone Lake provides many recreational opportunities including boating and fishing. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources operates Bluestone State Park and Bluestone Wildlife Management Area, each encompassing portions of the lake. Camping and other activities are available in these facilities.

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