UPPCO beginning Construction Improvements

Ishpeming, MI- The recreational and access sites at the Victoria Dam in Ontonagon County will be closed May 1st due to a planned construction improvement project. Access to the area will be off limits for the entire 2013 season, according to the Upper Peninsula Power Company, (UPPCO) who owns and operates the hydro electric facility.

UPPCO pointed out the facility closing is to ensure public and worker safety in the area during the construction project. However, the two remote campsites located outside the work area will be open for normal use.

In order to complete the necessary facility improvements, UPPCO said it will need to operate the Victoria Dam Reservoir in a drawn down state for most of the year. When improvements are completed, the reservoir will be refilled to normal operating levels.

The Victoria Dam is located near Rockland, in Ontonagon County in the western portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Recreational enthusiasts, such as canoeists, kayakers and tubers, that float on the river system, particularly upstream of the Victoria Dam, are also warned to use caution if using the south and west branch of the Ontonagon River. The construction project includes lowering the reservoir level above the dam to about 68 feet below the normal water level. This will result in changes to water levels in the river system.

Portaging around the Victoria Dam will also not be permitted because the portage access points are in the construction area.

UPPCO appreciates everyone’s cooperation and understanding during this construction period. The hydro electric power generated at Victoria helps meet the energy needs of UPPCO’s 52,000 electric customers in 86 communities in 10 of the 15 Upper Peninsula counties.