Duke Energy Funds New Whitewater Recreation Center In South Carolina

GREAT FALLS, S.C. — Duke Energy officials say they are partnering with South Carolina to create a whitewater recreation center that will transform Dearborn Island and bring a tourism boost to Great Falls.

Officials say the center will compliment the existing National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, and they will be working with the same designer of the Charlotte center, S2O Design, to create the new state park.

The multi-million dollar project funded by Duke Energy called Great Falls-Dearborn Development will include building a pedestrian bridge to the 650-acre island, installing canoe and kayak launches, and transforming two bypass channels to have class II to class IV rapids.

Officials say HDR Engineering and S2O Design will work together to build the two new bypass channels, with each bypass using notches and gates to control the flow of water.

Officials say the long bypass will run about two miles long with class II and III rapids, and the short bypass will be close to a mile long with class III and IV rapids for advanced paddlers.

More than 100 years ago, officials say the Great Falls-Dearborn Development was created to provide power to the local community, and now as part of Duke Energy’s new license to manage the Catawba-Wateree Project they will return water into the two bypass channels in a controlled manner to provide an additional habitat for animals and recreation opportunities for the public.

Duke Energy says construction on the new channels will begin in the second quarter of 2021, with the project expected to be completed within the next two years.