A Dam made to Last

Francine Bastien

Between 2013 and 2017, the projects were clarified. The work finally began in August 2022. Seven months later, a brand new dam finally emerges. With a large capacity – 50,000 cubic meters of reservoir – the elegant engineering structure collects the waters that come from the mountains of the Bolton area and meanders to Brome Lake along the Coldbrook stream. Twenty-five percent of the lake’s watersupply travels along this route. 

“The structure does not require any human intervention and, in the event of a strong flood for example, could retain up to twice its volume of water,” explains Marc-André Boivin, deputy director of technical services for the Town of Brome Lake. “The dam, of the ‘fixed crest spillway’ type, causes the water level in the dam to control the flow,” he explains. “The Foster Dam controls the level of the lake.” An engineer by training, Mr. Boivin took part in all the phases of the installation of the new dam and after so many years of work and obstacles to overcome, he is rightly ‘proud of the work done.’ 

There have been several obstacles, especially regulatory requirements of an administrative nature or relating to the environment. All this slowed down the process. Once the construction started, unforeseen events such as contaminated soils and a concrete wall to be redone added to the puzzle. 

But today it is the result that matters and the citizens are enthusiastic about the makeover that the centre of their village is experiencing. Not to mention that the project respected its calendar – within three months – and the $3M budget – no major cost overruns so far, a rarity in the realization of large-scale projects these days. 

Next step: landscaping to be completed in June and, a little later, special lighting that will make the site magical under the stars.