New Ragged Mountain Dam gets a ribbon cutting
C-VILLE Weekly Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 1:22 p.m.
Elected officials, members of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA), and environmental leaders were among the crowd of locals that gathered atop the newly completed Ragged Mountain Dam last Thursday to celebrate the official opening of a controversial project that Charlottesville mayor Satyendra Huja called “the most significant infrastructure achievement in this community in our lifetimes.”
It almost wasn’t. Enlarging the Ragged Mountain Reservoir outside Charlottesville and building a new dam was a hotly contested part of a long-term regional water supply plan that took more than a decade to finalize, as many in the city raised opposition to a larger “off-stream” reservoir at the Ragged Mountain site. A dam has existed there since the 1880s; a larger one was built in 1908, and a pipe carrying water from the reservoir in Sugar Hollow, about 15 miles away, was constructed in 1929. Opposition to the latest expansion focused on the clearcutting required, as well as the $36 million pricetag.
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