Construction will begin in earnest at Dorena Dam in the coming weeks following its recent approval by the Army Corps of Engineers.
On June 15, the Corps gave authorization to Logan, Utah based Symbiotics, LLC for construction to begin on a project to retrofit the dam to produce hydroelectric power.
Work crews with Mowat Construction have been working at the site for some time, according to Spencer Uminski, who serves as the company’s onsite representative for the project. Uminski said activity there will increase soon, though, as crews begin moving in machinery to clear trees behind the dam and begin constructing its powerhouse there.
In July, he said, workers expect to install a cofferdam of sand and concrete around the powerhouse site to keep the area dry. The access road to the site will also likely be built during that time.
Uminski said noise issues around the dam may become a factor about the third week of July, when excavation of rock will begin at the powerhouse site. The powerhouse will be built about 45 feet into the ground, and about the last 10-15 feet of that distance is solid rock. Uminski estimates that work will take between three to six weeks.
Mowat workers anticipate working 10-hour shifts six days per week, with possible periods of two shifts per day should schedules require, according to a press release from the Army Corps of Engineers. Initial construction hours will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the release continued, stating that, as construction activities progress, and as critical construction activities require, it may be necessary to work longer hours or additional shifts.
“Every attempt will be made to minimize noise levels from construction activities during the hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.” it read.
Uminski said Symbiotics is “very sensitive” to noise issues, as is the Corps. He said he doesn’t know the exact noise level that will be generated.
“There is a potential for some noise,” he said, adding that restrictions in place until August due to the presence of bald eagles in the area mean that noise can’t begin before 9 a.m. Workers at the campsite are aware of the noise issue, he said, details of which have been posted at Schwarz Park campground. Uminski said representatives have also met with residents of the homes lining Spillway Road to keep them informed of the process.
Workers will begin boring through Dorena Dam to lay pipes between a water intake in the dam and the powerhouse between September and November of this year, Uminski said. The concrete walls of the powerhouse should be built between November and January, with two turbines arriving in September or October. The project is slated for completion in June, 2013.
For the complete article see the 07-03-2012 issue.
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