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NYPA: Our History (cont'd)

The Dream Becomes a Reality

By 1954, all necessary approvals were in place for the development of the St. Lawrence project, and Robert Moses, New York's "Master Builder," who had been designated by Governor Thomas E. Dewey as Power Authority chairman, was ready to go to work. In cooperation with Ontario Hydro, Moses and his construction army transformed millions of tons of concrete, stone and steel into a power-producing marvel. The Power Authority's 800,000 kilowatt (kw) share of the facility is today known as the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project. An accelerated construction schedule led to the start of electricity production in July 1958 and delivery of full power a year later, two years ahead of the original schedule.

Construction at St. Lawrence project - photo

Construction under way at St. Lawrence project

Even as work on the St. Lawrence River proceeded, the Power Authority prepared for an even more complex project, to be located on the lower Niagara River, about five miles downstream from Niagara Falls. Private companies had been generating electricity along the Niagara since 1881, but impetus for a new project came when a 1950 treaty with Canada made more of the river's water available for power production while assuring that the beauty of Niagara Falls would be preserved.