New England News Releases

USACE hosts open house August 1 in Oxford, Mass., for Hodges Village Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house August 1, 2024, in Oxford, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 1976 Hodges Village Dam Master Plan for the Hodges...
USACE hosts open house July 31 in Monson, Mass., for Conant Brook Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house July 31, 2024, in Monson, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 1998 Conant Brook Dam Master Plan for the Conant...
USACE hosts open house July 30 in Uxbridge, Mass., for West Hill Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house July 30, 2024, in Uxbridge, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 2011 West Hill Dam Master Plan for the West Hill...

Top Rotator

Local bird watchers descended upon West Hill Dam armed with pen, paper and a few binoculars to participate in West Hill Dam’s annual Backyard Bird Count.
Construction of the System Management Engineering Facility (SMEF), the 40,000 square foot, 2-story addition, is well underway and progressing rapidly.
For vessels wanting to enter Plymouth waters, dredging to remove shoals from the Plymouth Harbor federal navigation project in Massachusetts is currently underway and on schedule.

News From Around the Corps

Racing towards a safer nation at the Indianapolis 500
6/3/2024
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate and the Cybersecurity and...
Special Project Program provides key support to USACE, Huntsville Center
5/30/2024
There is a small program that is designated to accommodate any changes Huntsville Center leadership may require...
USACE Report Offers New Approaches for Better Water Resource Planning
6/10/2024 UPDATED
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 10, 2024) – The Institute for Water Resources (IWR), part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), has released a report through its Water Resources Center on improving the...

Feature Stories

District Team assists with the rehabilitation of a hydropower plant in Liberia

CENAE, New England District
Published March 3, 2016

A team from New England District is consulting on the repair work currently underway on the Mount Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project near Monrovia, Liberia.

The team traveled to Liberia in November 2015 and again from Jan. 24 to Feb. 2 to conduct a site visit of the project and the surrounding areas.

The invitation from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) came due to the outstanding efforts New England District put out to make one of their projects, the Nacala Dam Restoration in Nacala, Mozambique, such a success. MCC has entered into a 5-year economic development compact with the government of Liberia. The District is providing independent engineering advice and due diligence support to MCC.

When work is complete, the Liberian capital city, Monrovia, will receive their power from the project. In addition, Monrovia and nearby villages will have a reliable source of clean water.

Businesses in Monrovia are currently purchasing connections to generators from vendors. "Many people do not have much choice but to be in the dark after sunset," said Patrick Blumeris, Hydraulic Engineer on the project. :Since Monrovia is so close to the equator, this amounts to 10-12 hours per night."

According to Blumeris, there are approximately 950,000 people who stand to benefit from the cleaner water. "There are people who will receive water from the piped system we are planning to re-install, from the reservoir to the treatment plant and then pumped into Monrovia," he said. "For people around the lake, a separate set of water hand pumps is being installed. These should be able to find groundwater more easily than any other pumps, and should be cleaner than the widespread use of surface water which often gets muddy or goes dry in the dry season. There is also a possibility that there is sea salt in the water."

Blumeris said that the current water pipeline project would ensure that water comes from a less turbid source than the river itself, and it is hoped that 100 liters per capita per day will be provided to nearly one million people.

"Our project ends at the White Plains Water Treatment Plant, which is undergoing a renovation of its own under the Liberia Water and Sewer Commission," said Blumeris

The 20-meter high dam was built in 1966. During the civil war in 1990, the dam was not allowed to operate, resulting in a dam breach.

Because of the breach, 180 meters of material was eroded down to bedrock. Also, much of the electrical and mechanical equipment had either been stolen or destroyed.

Work to rehabilitate the dam and the power house will include but not limited to repairing the breached portion of the forebay dam and repairing the generator floors and columns of the power house to support the crane and turbine/generator equipment during erection and future maintenance.

As a result of their visits, the team came up with numerous recommendations in all areas of the $350+ million project, many of which were immediately implemented. It is anticipated that the project will be completed in August 2017.

Team members who are working this effort are Team Leader Siamac Vaghar, Geotechnical Engineer; Brian Head, Electrical Engineer; Patrick Blumeris, Hydraulic Engineer; Mike Penko, Biologist; and Matthew Tessier, Civil Engineer and Jeff Teller, Chief, Appraisal Branch, Real Estate Division.


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