ROANOKE – The Byllesby portage and public boat ramp on New River will be closed effective Monday, April 30 to allow the safe completion of construction work at the Byllesby dam.
The work is expected to be completed by November 16.
The Byllesby dam and powerhouse, and its sister Buck dam and powerhouse downstream, are operated by Appalachian Power and are located in Carroll County near Galax. The Byllesby reservoir will be lowered about 10 feet for the construction work.
Signs indicating the portage closure are being posted at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries access points above the Byllesby reservoir and at the project site.
The alternative for river kayakers and canoeists is to take out at Fries, the last access before reaching Byllesby. The nearest location to put in downstream of the dam is at Austinville.
Appalachian Power will replace some dam flashboards with new mechanical gates at the hydroelectric plant site.
The company hopes to have work completed by mid-November, but that will depend on weather and other conditions that could affect timing.
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 26,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP supplies 3,200 megawatts of renewable energy to customers.