Monday, November 12, 2007

Daylighting the Quequechan Falls - an electric idea

Before the construction of Route 195 the Quequechan's abused but still majestic falls cascaded down the 132 foot drop to the meet up with the Taunton River below.

Today there is much talk about 'daylighting the Quequechan River and recreating the falls that give this city its name. Realizing this goal will require a major investment and not the type of investment that will result in economic growth or a boost in tourism. Instead this project speaks more to improving the quality of life, enhancing the city, and doing ecologically what is right.

Daylighting the river will improve the atmosphere of the city but can the river that once helped power the industrial revolution still be utilized to help power the city?

That was the comment made to me recently and it has me curious. Could a hydroelectric generator be incorporated into plans to recreate the falls and daylight the river? Obviously any such plan would have to find a way to aesthetically combine the goals of visually enhancing the city with utilizing it for the generation of electrical power. Assuming that such a plan could be achieved might such a plan be eligible for state and federal funding that the daylighting plan alone is not?

There is so much interest in being ecologically responsible by cleaning up and daylighting the river. Doesn't it make sense to consider taking that concept to the next level. Imagine restoring the falls to Fall River, enhancing our environment and providing a 'green', renewable energy source!


General said...

Daylighting the Quequechan River. I like the idea, but I want to know what will the cost be? Need to buy the Chamber of Commerce building, 10 to 20 million??

Construction, etc....another 15 to 30 million???

I liked Rep Sullivan's idea. Break the project into sections, and start with the easiest part first, the Quequechan River that abuts route 195 and Britland Park. That is an eyesore, both sides if you consider the incenarator.

His rationale was to improve the look of the city by bringing in a landscape specialist and re-doing that area. Beautify it and start having events that can be seen from the highway. The center of our city is so unattractive now.

He also believed tht by doing this section and restoring the river there we would then prove our comitment and it would be easier to get federal and state funds.

Using the river to produce electricity? I know this has been mentioned in the past.

1. What is the flow rate?

2. Is it enought ot create a respectable amount of electricity?

3. Does the rate drop off at certain times of the year, and will that be a problem?

Lefty said...


I have no doubts that this will be a very expensive project. It's the type of project that I don't think you can justify by cost. (BTW I can't see the Chamber building costing as much 10-20 million)

I think this is the type of project that you do despite the costs, because of the enhancement it will bring and because restoring the river is the right thing to do.

I think Sullivan's idea of tackling one step at a time makes sense. Too often our leadership sets it's site on a long term goal that is unattainable. To do this plan in steps has the benefit of allowing us to enjoy the results of each step and helps provide the momentum for the project to be completed. However, it's important to have leadership that never loses site of the long term goal.

You're right using the river to generate electricity has been looked into before. I imagine cost and lack of vision killed it. How much electricity could be produced? I've had someone estimate enough to power 2000 homes, but really it would need to be looked into

My goal here was to take an idea worth discussing and maybe help get it discussed.

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to see this concept become a reality. Not only would it be a visual reminder of that waterfall and what the power from it meant to the early mills, but it could be a lovely, engaging place of public rest, reflection and pride.

I am reminded of all the wonderful public fountains in Portland....and I've been to them all. I used to work close to the Ira Keller fountain and the artist's sketch reminded me of it....You MUST check out this fountain. I think something of this design would be perfect for Fall River.

-Faye Musselman

adv said...

10 to 20 mil for the Chamber building? Are we serious? That place should be valued based on what they do - nothing.

I for one, say to hell with the costs. We pump billions into schools, welfare, war, non-essential construction (can you say "Big-Dig"), and get little in return. So why is it unreasonable to expect that we shouldn't be able to spend some money to rebuild a beautiful civic part of the city that desperately needs it? I'm getting sick of the mentality of people saying that every public dollar needs to produce money back. That's the job of for-profit enterprises, not the government. If we had a more realistic view of what the government was supposed to do, we would have paid a paltry three or four million dollars way-back when before the LNG issue got out of hand, and we could have had a park, transportation center, office park, and commuter rail station all in one, and made some money. But it was more important to make it an election issue back then then to get actual results.

So I say do it now, get it done. Enough about the cost!

Anonymous said...

If a renaissance of fall river was to commence we would have to get rid of all the section 8 and welfare project housing lowering the intelligence and opening arms to skilled workforce willing to live in the city and participate in opening tax earning middle class business once again! The abuse is rampant and I see it everyday not only by welfare but by our municipalities alike. If you saw what I do it would make you sick each time you paid your taxes to the city of fall river.

Anonymous said...

and another thing, if the new bridge wasnt designed for non existant lng tankers we would have the money to complete this project!!!!!!!!!! what a crying shame, a overbuilt draw bridge that will never open.