The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 1:27 p.m.

Cracked Columbia River dam to be fixed this year

YAKIMA — The cracked Wanapum Dam should be repaired and its reservoir on the Columbia River near Vantage refilled by the end of the year, the Grant County Public Utility District said.
Workers for the utility have started drilling holes that will be used to anchor the dam in bedrock.
“It’s almost like putting a screw down into a block of wood,” said spokesman Thomas Stredwick.
The final repair plan is awaiting approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission but drilling anchor holes in advance will save time, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/1iFdEF3 ).
After the 65-foot-long spillway crack was discovered in late February, the utility lowered the reservoir 26 feet to reduce pressure. That left boat ramps and fish ladders high and dry. All shore access behind the dam was closed for public safety and to protect archaeological sites.
The utility modified fish ladders, and more than 23,000 spring chinook have passed the dam successfully, Stredwick said.
In May, the utility determined the crack was caused by a math error during the dam’s original construction in the early 1960s. More concrete and reinforced steel should have been initially used in all 13 of the spillway’s supporting blocks.
Workers are drilling three holes through each concrete block for steel cables that will be secured into the bedrock, then tightened to close the crack.
The repair work is expected to cost about $61 million, Stredwick said.
By late fall, the utility plans to begin raising the reservoir level slowly, to make sure the repaired dam remains stable. Bringing the water up 19 feet should be enough to restore public access to boat launches and recreational areas.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

HeraldNet highlights

Looking for a friend?
Looking for a friend?: Animals up for adoption at the Everett shelter (7 new photos)
A community of kindness
A community of kindness: Seahawks home a display of affection for couple's daughter
Super snacks
Super snacks: Best finger-food recipes to make for the big game
Being there to care
Being there to care: Visits to Children's Hospital inspire Russell Wilson
SnoCoSocial