Bradley Hydroelectric, Kachemak Bay

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Bradley River is located on the Kenai Peninsula, and flows northwest for 7 miles (11 km) to Kachemak Bay, about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Homer, Alaska. The river is possibly named after John A. Bradley, a local prospector, and the name was first published by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1951.

The Bradley Lake hydroelectric project in the Kenai Mountains was completed in 1991 and now provides relatively inexpensive power to Kachemak Bay communities. The main dam was built on the outlet to Bradley Lake and a power tunnel 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long, with a diameter of 11 feet (3.4 m), transports water from the dam to the powerhouse near the Martin River at the head of Kachemak Bay.

The Nuka Glacier is on Bradley Pass, the watershed divide between the Nuka River that flows into Kenai Fjords National Park, and the Bradley River that flows into Kachemak Bay. Prior to 1991, most of Nuka Glacier outflow went into the Nuka River during low-flow periods, but during high discharges, most of the water went into the Bradley River. In order to maximize the flow going into Bradley River, a dike 5 feet (1.5 m) high was built at Bradley Pass to divert the river into Bradley Lake. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore the head of Kachemak Bay.

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