Operating since 1972, Eel River, New Brunswick is home to the world's first commercial solid state High Voltage Direct Current converter station. This 320 MW interconnection facility, built by Canadian General Electric and NB Power, incorporates high current silicon solid state thyristors to convert alternating current from Hydro Quebec to direct current and back to alternating, allowing asynchronous, stable power transfers to serve New Brunswick's Power's customers.
In 1915, a tropical storm dropped nearly 11 inches of rain on St. Louis in just 17 hours, causing a devastating flood. Claiming 11 lives and the homes of 1,025 families, the flood focused public and government attention onto the problems of the river.
The 1.5 mile Lacey V. Murrow Bridge was the largest floating structure in the world and the first to be built of reinforced concrete when completed in 1940. The bridge consisted of typically 300-foot long pontoons floated to site and rigidly connected to form a continuous structure and incorporated a unique floating concrete draw-span to allow for passage of marine traffic. The original floating structure, constructed by Pontoon Bridge Builders, was accidentally sunk in 1990 during a major renovation effort and was replaced by 1993.
After more than 50 years of contention and debate, dredging began in 1911 on an eight-mile channel connecting Puget Sound, Seattle's gateway to the Pacific, to two inland freshwater lakes, Lake Washington and Lake Union. With the completion of the Lake Washington ship channel and Chittenden locks, coal and logs from the interior had a dedicated water route to the ocean, and the city's 4 1/2 miles of coastal harbor burgeoned into 100 miles of commercial, industrial and recreational piers and wharves.
It took 22 years to complete the 35-mile waterway, as funding problems caused the work to shut down from 1777 to 1785.
The notion of creating a canal that crossed Scotland was conceived in the 17th century during the reign of Charles II, but would not be realized for nearly 100 years. The Forth and Clyde Canal, known as The Great Canal in its early years, was the first major transportation project in Scotland and the world's first man-made, sea-to-sea ship canal.
A tiny village on the Rio Grande River in northern New Mexico became the training center for the first American hydrographers and provided the first stream-gauging operations of the U.S. Geological Survey. To plan any water system, it is necessary to know the amount of water flowing in the stream or river at all times - including low, normal, and flood conditions.
The East Maui Irrigation System is Hawaii's most dramatic water story. It began with the construction of the Old Hamakua Ditch built between 1876 and 1878. This privately financed, constructed and managed irrigation system was one of the largest in the United States. It eventually included 50 miles of tunnels; 24 miles of open ditches, inverted siphons and flumes; incorporates approximately 400 intakes and 8 reservoirs.
"Eads had to succeed in the face of conventional wisdom which doomed him to disaster. Entrenched authorities not only completely dismissed his theories, but pointed to the indifferent European experiences with what he proposed."
- ASCE Landmark Nomination Proposal, 1982
Constructed to provide a safe, potable water supply for the citizens of Chicago, Ellis Chesbrough's Chicago Water Supply System was the first major system to utilize offshore intake systems. The system includes the landmark Chicago Water Tower and the Chicago Avenue Pumping Station. Its subaqueous tunnel was a pioneering effort in American civil engineering.
Between 1825 and 1847 the State of Ohio constructed 1,000 miles of canals and feeder canals, 33,000 acres of reservoir surface area, 29 dams across streams, 294 lift locks, 44 aqueducts and many smaller structures at a cost of about 16 million dollars. The network of navigable canals provided a system of economical transportation where none had previously existed; the young state, with its isolated frontier lifestyle, was transformed almost overnight into a thriving segment of the nation's economy.