Parco Regionale dei Laghi di Suviana e Brasimone
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The advent of major public works

Starting in the early 20th century, this part of the Bolognese Apennines was the site of a number of major public works, which led to a new layout of the territory and to significant changes to the landscape.

In 1910 works got under way for the construction of a dam near the Scalere mill, where the Brasimone Valley narrowed and the stream formed a series of cascades.

The hydroelectric station connected to the Brasimone reservoir was constructed downstream, near the ancient S. Maria Church. A second dam was constructed here in 1917 to increase output.

Ten years later the state railway authorities completed construction of a reservoir at Pavana, in the nearby Limentra di Sambuca Valley, to produce electricity to power the Porrettana railway line and in 1928 damming works of the Limentra di Treppio began at the Cinghi di Bargi and Suviana.

A significant number of men and resources were employed for this new dam, which was completed in 1933. At 97 m, it was the tallest dam in Italy at the time. New roads were built for the construction of the dam. A telpher line was also installed, connecting Suviana and the Porretta station. It was used to transport the cement needed to consolidate the stone materials resulting from the rock crushing processes carried out on-site. Even the waters from Pavana were conducted into the large new basin via an underground tunnel.

The period of hydroelectric public works concluded in the early 70s with the creation of a connection between the Brasimone and Suviana basins, through the use of penstocks and a system able not only to generate electricity but also to pump water up to the high-level basin in order to continue the production cycle. In the 1960s construction of an experimental facility for the production of nuclear energy (called PEC) had also begun on the southern shore of the Brasimone reservoir.

The project was ultimately abandoned following the national referendum in 1987.

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