MANICOUAGAN, QUE. — Hydro-Quebec recently held a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Daniel-Johnson dam in the Manicouagan region of Quebec.
It was project that during peak of construction employed 12,900 workers and was the largest worksite in North America.
Sept. 30 marked 50 years since the dam was officially opened. A monument symbolizing the project was unveiled to mark the event. Quebec Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonatan Julien and Eric Martel, president and CEO of Hydro-Quebec were on hand along with one current and one retired Hydro-Quebec worker to leave their handprints in a concrete block that will be installed at the site, a release stated.
The dam was named after Daniel Johnson Sr., who launched construction in 1959 when he was minister of water resources. Johnson, who subsequently became the premier of Quebec, died the night before the official inauguration on Sept. 26, 1968. The event finally took place one year later.
“The construction of Daniel-Johnson dam is one of Quebec’s greatest industrial feats. Hydro-Quebec’s reputation as a world leader in hydropower generation and distribution is thanks to the boldness of such a monumental project and the Quebec government’s keen vision for this resource in our economic development,” said Julien in a statement.
The dam is the world’s highest multiple-arch-and-buttress dam, with enough space within the main arch to fit Montreal’s Olympic stadium tower, the statement noted. The dam has 2.2 million cubic metres of concrete.
Since they were commissioned, Manic-5 and Manic-5-PA generating stations have generated 322 terawatt-hours of electricity. The Manicouagan reservoir covers 1,950 square kilometres and contains 142,000 cubic metres of water.