Tuesday, May 07, 2024

The Klamath River’s Iron Gate comes down, one scoop at a time


Deconstruction of Iron Gate dam, the lowest of the four dams along the Oregon-California border, has begun

...Roughly one million cubic yards of clay, sand and rock will have to be removed. A procession of dump trucks will carry the material along a road from the dam up a nearby ridge to a “borrow pit” — a crater in the hill where material for the dam was removed in the early 1960s. About 20% of the material will be used to fill in and cover the concrete spillway that was cut into the hillside on the north side of the Klamath River adjacent the dam.

...Once FERC determines there’s no risk of high water that could compromise the earthen structure, they’ll authorize the removal of the rest of Iron Gate as well as J.C. Boyle, the most upstream of the remaining dams, which is located in Southern Oregon.
The deconstruction of Copco 1, which is a heavier and stronger concrete arch dam, began earlier this spring; just the day before, crews engineered a blast to remove the gates and superstructure at the top of that dam.For Brook Thompson, a Yurok Tribe member who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Science at University of California, Santa Cruz, the day was equally significant.

“This is the start of the end of a really long journey for me: the removal of the Iron Gate dam on the Klamath River after 20-plus years of fighting to have the dams removed,” she said...more

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