River Mile 31 Dredging Work to Start

Popular fishing area will be temporarily closed to the public

Media Contact: Jack Simes, (928) 343-8334

For Release: December 09, 2005

The Bureau of Reclamation is preparing to dredge at River Mile 31 along the lower Colorado River. Mobilization of heavy equipment will begin Monday, December 12, and dredging will commence later that week. A floating dredge barge, work boats, and pipeline will be used during dredge activities. Due to the nature of this oversized equipment, the boat ramp at River Mile 31 will be closed to the public for the duration of the dredging project, which is expected to last from 4 to 6 weeks.

As part of this work, a material relocation pipeline will be buried across the protection levee, and access on the levee will be temporarily closed to vehicle traffic during the installation, which is expected take up to 2 hours. Reclamation crews will be regularly monitoring the area until it is safe to reopen for vehicle use. Members of the public using this area are asked to call the above contact number to obtain exact installation date and time.

River Mile 31 is located approximately ½ mile east of Paradise Casino adjacent to the Yuma Upper Reservation Division Protection Levee on the California side of the Colorado River. Dredging operations will run 20 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, with no activity planned Friday through Sunday. Reclamation does not anticipate closing the waterway around the dredging site, but at times passage may not be permitted for safety reasons. Watercraft operators are encouraged to exercise caution and to stay clear of all dredging operations.

This recurring maintenance is a requirement of the River Mile 31 Channel Realignment Project. It will help maintain sediment control, water circulation and backwater integrity, and will protect the levee in this reach of the river during higher than normal flows. Approximately 60 thousand cubic yards of material will be removed from this site and placed on the Quechan Indian Tribe's land just north of the protection levee.

The public is asked to use precaution while in the area and to not go around any barricades and to obey all signs.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.