Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57376 Reclamation Closes Haystack Reservoir Recreation Sites for the Season
MADRAS, OR – The Bureau of Reclamation is closing West Shore and South Shore recreation sites at Haystack Reservoir for the winter season beginning Dec. 1. Haystack Reservoir is located about 10 miles south of Madras. <P> Both West Shore and South Shore will be closed through March 1, 2017. The North Shore fishing pier day-use area will remain open for day-use recreation activities. North Shore is open year-round from dawn to dusk, with an accessible fishing pier to enjoy fishing, sightseeing and access to the reservoir. Parking at North Shore is free of charge. <P> To make group reservations at South Shore for the 2017 season, visit <a href="http://www.recreation.gov">www.recreation.gov</a> or call 1-877-444-6777. For additional information, contact the Bend Field Office at 541-389-6541. <P> Haystack Reservoir borders on Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, is impounded by Haystack Dam which was constructed in 1957. It is owned by Reclamation, and operated by the North Unit Irrigation District that supplies irrigation water to the area. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57223 Fire Station Construction at Reclamation's Grand Coulee Dam Brings Changes
GRAND COULEE, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's Grand Coulee Dam is anticipating construction of its new fire station this spring. However, there will be several changes before construction begins. <P> On Nov. 21, the speed limit will be lowered from 40 mph to 30 mph on Highway 155 that passes the Grand Coulee Industrial Area facilities. As construction of the fire station gets underway, heavy equipment and construction vehicles will enter and exit Highway 155 at Industrial Road for approximately18 months. The speed limit will remain at 30 mph once construction is complete as fire trucks and emergency vehicles will access the highway in this area. <P> “Safety is a top priority for Reclamation,” said Lynne Brougher, Grand Coulee Dam Public Affairs Officer. “Though the speed limit reduction will occur prior to construction, we want local drivers to become accustomed to the change.” In addition, two streets approaching the construction area will be closed just before construction begins. These include Industrial Road from Highway 155 to B Street and B Street from Division Street to Industrial Road. These roads will reopen once construction is completed. <P> Fire station construction is expected to be complete by the summer of 2018. Reclamation awarded the $13.6 million construction contract to Innovative Construction & Design Ltd., a small business based in Post Falls, Idaho Sept. 16. <P> To see the locations of the speed limit changes and closures, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/2016/gcdconstruction.pdf. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57222 Temporary Closure Extended at Palisades Dam
IRWIN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation will extend the temporary dam closure at Palisades Dam to no later than Dec. 9. The extension is necessary due to a construction delay. <P> The work includes replacing aging overhead utilities with an underground system. For safety reasons, the limited access across the dam via foot, all-terrain vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile or horse will remain closed through the completion of the project. The closure has been in effect since Aug. 15. <P> Palisades Dam, 55 miles southeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was constructed by Reclamation in 1957 as part of the Palisades Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides for irrigation, flood control, hydropower and recreation. <P> Learn more about Palisades Dam: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/snakeriver/dams/uppersnake/palisades.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/snakeriver/dams/uppersnake/palisades.html</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=57172 Reclamation Extends Public Comment Period for Left and Right Powerhouses Modernization at Grand Coulee Dam
GRAND COULEE, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation is extending the public comment period for the proposed multiyear powerplant overhaul project at two Grand Coulee Dam powerhouses. The initial 30-day comment period ended Nov. 7, however, at the public’s request, it’s been extended to Nov. 21. The public is encouraged to identify issues and concerns to be addressed in an Environmental Assessment on the proposed modernization and overhaul of all the generators in the Left and Right Powerhouses. The 18 generating units and three station service units have been in operation for over 70 years and are starting to have mechanical problems from age-related wear and design. Reclamation would upgrade components of the generating units, modernize three station service generators, conduct maintenance of the penstocks, and update or replace the overhead cranes. <P> The Environmental Assessment alternatives are: <P> • Alternative A – No Action: Reclamation would continue to operate generating Units G1 – G18 with no system improvements. Maintenance would be performed on an as-needed basis. <P> • Alternative B – Work on Two Units at a Time: Reclamation would repair and restore the generators in a timely manner to ensure reliable operation for an additional 30 years. Work would be expected to begin in the spring of 2018 with project completion anticipated by the end of 2029. Unforeseen circumstances (equipment breakdown, unexpected outages, delay in manufacturing, etc.) could delay completion. <P> • Alternative C – Work on One Unit at a Time: Reclamation would perform the same work as in Alternative B. However, this alternative would extend the overhaul work up to seven years, depending on the speed of completion. <P> The Environmental Assessment would evaluate the impacts of each alternative on the human and natural environments. The final Environmental Assessment is expected to be published in the summer of 2017. <P> To submit comments, or for additional information, contact Pam Druliner, Natural Resource Specialist, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 1150 North Curtis Road, Boise, ID 83706. Contact can also be made by emailing pdruliner@usbr.gov. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56929 Robert Skordas Named Deputy Regional Director for Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region
BOISE, Idaho – Regional Director Lorri Lee has selected Rob Skordas as the new Deputy Regional Director for Power and Infrastructure in Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region. Skordas began his new position October 17. He replaces Terry Kent, who will retire at the end of this year. <P> "Rob's years of managing complex power projects, combined with his on-the-ground experience at Grand Coulee Dam, will be a great asset to the Region," said Lee. "His expertise will go a long way to support Reclamation's mission of delivering water and power in an economically and environmentally sound manner." <P> Skordas was previously the Lower Colorado Dams Area Manager where he directed business and maintenance activities at Hoover Dam, Davis Dam, and Parker Dam. <P> He began his federal career in 1999 as an Apprentice Powerplant Operator at Grand Coulee Dam. Since completing his apprenticeship, Rob has assumed increasingly challenging leadership and management positions in Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific and Lower Colorado regions. <P> A native of Coulee Dam, Wash., Skordas holds a doctor of chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic-West in San Jose, Calif. He practiced chiropractic for 15 years before entering government service. <P> Download a photo at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/skordas.jpg">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/skordas.jpg</a>. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56867 Reclamation Seeks Comments on Left and Right Powerhouse Modernization at Grand Coulee Dam
GRAND COULEE, Washington — The Bureau of Reclamation invites the public to comment on a proposed multiyear powerplant overhaul project at two Grand Coulee Dam powerhouses. During the 30-day comment period which ends Nov. 7, the public is encouraged to identify issues and concerns to be addressed in an Environmental Assessment on the proposed modernization and overhaul of all the generators in the Left and Right Powerhouses. <P> The 18 generating units and three station service units have been in operation for over 70 years and are starting to have mechanical problems from age-related wear and design. Reclamation would upgrade components of the generating units, modernize three station service generators, conduct maintenance of the penstocks, and update or replace the overhead cranes. <P> The Environmental Assessment alternatives are: <P> • Alternative A – No Action: Reclamation would continue to operate generating Units G1 – G18 with no system improvements. Maintenance would be performed on an as-needed basis. • Alternative B – Work on Two Units at a Time: Reclamation would repair and restore the generators in a timely manner to ensure reliable operation for an additional 30 years. Work would be expected to begin in the spring of 2018 with project completion anticipated by the end of 2029. Unforeseen circumstances (equipment breakdown, unexpected outages, delay in manufacturing, etc.) could delay completion. <P> • Alternative C – Work on One Unit at a Time: Reclamation would perform the same work as in Alternative B. However, this alternative would extend the overhaul work up to seven years, depending on the speed of completion. <P> The Environmental Assessment would evaluate the impacts of each alternative on the human and natural environments. The final Environmental Assessment is expected to be published in the summer of 2017. <P> To submit comments, or for additional information, contact Pam Druliner, Natural Resource Specialist, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 1150 North Curtis Road, Boise, ID 83706. Contact can also be made by emailing pdruliner@usbr.gov. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56692 Temporary Closures Begin at Jackson Lake Dam October 4
HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation will repair damaged concrete on the right side of the spillway stilling basin at Jackson Lake Dam beginning Oct. 4. During construction, the southeast side parking lot at the dam and downstream right-hand side of the river will be temporarily closed to all traffic through the end of November. <P> The concrete wall has significantly eroded along its base and is in need of repair. Reclamation will install steel plates on the outer wall and fill the cavity with concrete. <P> "Public safety is our number one concern," said Keith Brooks, civil engineer with the Upper Snake Field Office. "The parking and fishing areas will remain closed until the repair work is completed. Recreation access will still be available upstream of the dam and the north side of the river." <P> Jackson Lake Dam is located on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park near Moran, Wyoming. The dam is part of the Minidoka Project and was constructed in 1911. In 1989, parts of the dam were replaced under the authority of Reclamation's Safety of Dams Act. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56645 Reclamation Awards $13.6 Million Contract to Build Fire Station at Grand Coulee Dam
GRAND COULEE, Washington — The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $13.6 million contract to Innovative Construction & Design Ltd., a small business based in Post Falls, Idaho. <P> The fire station will be constructed at the west gate to the Grand Coulee Power Office Industrial Area, near the intersection of Highway 155 and B Street. The new facility location will ensure reliable protection for all Reclamation facilities and lands, as well as assist local communities and other agencies through mutual aid agreements. <P> The project involves construction of an approximately 22,000-square-foot fire station to provide space for sleeping, dining, vehicle and equipment storage, meeting/training rooms, offices and a public reception area. Construction is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and congressional appropriations. <P> "Sharpening our focus on safety and our emergency response capability at Grand Coulee Dam and the greater community is a top priority for Reclamation," Commissioner Estevan López said today. "This state-of-the-art fire station will harness new technology into a permanent, highly sustainable and professional facility." <P> Construction activity is expected to begin the winter of 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by April 2018. <P> Grand Coulee Dam, completed in 1941, it is a multipurpose facility and a key feature of Reclamation's Columbia Basin Project. It is the largest hydropower producer in the U.S. at an average of 20 billion kilowatt-hours annually. Learn more at: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/grandcoulee/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/grandcoulee/index.html</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56644 Black Canyon C.A.S.T. For Kids Event a Hit
Black Canyon Park celebrated its annual C.A.S.T. For Kids event in August. The morning began with much excitement. All the supplies were taken out and placed in their location. The first boat captain arrived promptly at 6 a.m., and others soon followed. Volunteers began to arrive and were ready to work! The early morning smiles brightened the day more than the warm summer sun. By 9 a.m., many families had arrived and the registration process was in full force. <P> "This event was a lot of fun for the children and myself," said Robert Voermans, one of the boat captains. "It's the best organized event I've ever seen. I plan to do it again next year." <P> Thirty-four participants enjoyed this special day made especially for them. Fourteen boat captains came out to share their boat and love for the water with the participants. Forty-five volunteers made sure everything was perfect, and LOTS of fish were caught! <P> "C.A.S.T. for Kids has been celebrated at Black Canyon Park for over 20 years," said Erika Lopez, event coordinator for the Snake River Area Office. "Each year it just gets better and better. I look forward to next year." <P> <img src="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/images/photos/cast/2016blkcanyongrp.jpg" hspace="10" alt="Participants and volunteers pose for a picture at 2016 Black Canyon CAST Event"/> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56634 $1.7 Million Contract Award for Work at American Falls Reservoir
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $1.7 million construction contract Sept. 9 to Yale Creek, Inc., a small business based in Rexburg, Idaho, for an improvement project on the American Falls Reservoir. The project involves rehabilitation of the West Side boat ramp, parking area and restroom facilities, located adjacent to the dam. American Falls Dam is approximately 26 miles west of Pocatello, Idaho. <P> After more than 55 years of continual use and exposure to the elements, the West Side boat ramp along American Falls Reservoir has reached the end of its functional life. The ramp and parking area are showing considerable signs of deterioration and are in need of replacement. <P> "We are excited to see this project move forward," said Ryan Newman, Upper Snake Field Office assistant manager. "The new ramp will provide for improved, safe, reservoir access and should accommodate the public's needs." <P> On-site work is expected to begin the fall of 2016 with completion in March 2018. <P> American Falls Dam was originally completed in 1928. The dam is part of the Minidoka Project and is located on the Snake River near American Falls. In 1978, the dam was reconstructed and replaced under the authority of Reclamation's Safety of Dams Act. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56590 Temporary Lane Closure over American Falls Dam
AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation will temporarily close one of the Highway 39 northbound lanes on American Falls Dam Sept. 20 to perform crane work to lift and replace a bulkhead gate on the dam, weather permitting. <P> Traffic delays will be intermittent between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., as crews use a crane to move the bulkhead gate. <P> "The temporary lane closure should not have a significant impact to daily traffic; however, oversize loads will not have enough room to cross while the work is being conducted," said Keith Brooks, civil engineer with the Upper Snake Field Office. "Delays will be short term. Normal traffic use will resume as soon as the work is completed." <P> For more information, contact Keith Brooks at 208-678-0461 ext. 33. <P> American Falls Dam was originally completed in 1928. The dam is part of the Minidoka Project and is located on the Snake River near American Falls. In 1978, the dam was reconstructed and replaced under the authority of Reclamation’s Safety of Dams Act. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56568 Arrowrock Dam Recognized as Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
On Aug. 25, the 100- year-old Arrowrock Dam was recognized as Idaho’s first National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at a ceremony held onsite. <P> ASCE represent members of the civil engineering profession worldwide. It is the oldest national engineering society in the United States. ASCE recognizes historically significant civil engineering projects, structures, and sites all over the world. More than 200 projects have earned the title for the creativity and innovative spirit of civil engineers. <P> “Arrowrock Dam has been a cornerstone of development in Idaho’s Treasure Valley,” said Lanie Paquin, Deputy Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation. “The dam has provided irrigation water to farmers and flood control on the lower Boise River for over 100 years. It is with great honor that we accept this historic recognition given by the American Society of Civil Engineers.” <P> The ceremony included a guided tour inside the dam. The group traveled up and down more than 300 steps inside the dam viewing some of its original fixings. <P> “A lot of the innovations in dam building were first used in this dam,” said Ryan Van Leuven, President of Southern Idaho Section of American Society of Civil Engineers. <P> In 1915, Arrowrock Dam was constructed and at the time was the tallest concrete dam in the world, standing 350 feet high and 1,100 feet long along the crest. It is located east of Boise, Idaho, on the Boise River. Arrowrock Dam is a multipurpose facility that provides irrigation water for more than 277,000 acres of land, flood control benefits, hydropower and recreation used by a large population in the Boise area. <P> Arrowrock Dam was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. This engineering masterpiece has been used as a template for other dams constructed by Reclamation. <P> For more information about Arrowrock Dam visit: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/snakeriver/arrowrock100/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/snakeriver/arrowrock100/index.html</a>. <P> <img src="https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/images/2016/09/arrowrock1.jpg" alt="ASCE group is given a short briefing before touring the dam." width="400"><br /> <small>ASCE group is given a short briefing before touring the dam.</small> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56369 Yakima Project “Flip-Flop” Operations Underway
YAKIMA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation announced that it will begin the annual “flip-flop” operation in the Yakima Basin by gradually reducing flows out of Cle Elum Reservoir in the upper Yakima River basin and increasing flows from Rimrock Reservoir affecting flows in the Tieton and Naches Rivers. <P> The purpose of the “flip-flop” operation is to achieve and maintain relatively low flows in the upper Yakima, Cle Elum, and Bumping rivers where the spring Chinook salmon spawn. These lower flows are closer to the natural flow conditions and are therefore more helpful to successful spawning and incubation of the salmon eggs. This operation also reduces impacts on irrigation water supply by allowing for lower flow releases throughout the winter to improve reservoir storage for the coming season. <P> As part of the process, on or about September 6, Reclamation will begin to divert water down the Kittitas Reclamation District’s Spillway 1146 into the Yakima River near Thorp. Reclamation will install buoys that will be in place from Sept. 6 until about Oct. 21. Recreationists are strongly advised, for their safety and well-being, to portage around the buoys and to stay out of the dangerously turbulent flows. <P> “Those who are enjoying the river should definitely avoid the dangerous turbulent water in the area where the spillway water pours into the river,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. <P> Flows out of Cle Elum Reservoir have been gradually decreasing since Aug. 20 from a high of 2,870 cfs and will continue to decline to a low of about 220 cfs in mid-September. Flows from Rimrock Reservoir are expected to be in the 900 to 1,200 cfs range by Sept. 1 and increase to between 2,000 and 2,500 cfs by mid to late September depending on irrigation demands and weather conditions. <P> Streamflow changes will occur gradually during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Streamflow information can be obtained by calling (509) 575-5854 or on Reclamation’s website at: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima/index.html. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56287 Reclamation Awards $19 Million Contract for Pump-Generating Plant Upgrades at Grand Coulee Dam
BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $19 million contract on August 11 to American Hydro of York, Pennsylvania. The contract calls for replacing and updating equipment for pump generating units 5 and 6 at the John W. Keys III Pump Generating Plant. <P> "This effort is pivotal to the infrastructure modernization at the Keys Plant. The pump units will provide greater efficiency, flexibility and capacity in hydropower production and water delivery," said Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López. <P> The plant, located 90 miles west of Spokane, Washington, is part of the Grand Coulee Dam Power Complex. A multi-purpose project, it provides flood control, irrigation, hydropower production, recreation, stream flows, and fish and wildlife benefits. <P> Construction will take place over the next two years while accommodating for irrigation demand. It is scheduled to be finished by January 2020. <P> This overhaul work continues a 20-year modernization effort at the plant. The project is funded through Bonneville Power Administration, South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, Quincy Columbia Basin Irrigation District, East Columbia Basin Irrigation District and Congressional appropriations. <P> American Hydro is a leading supplier and installer of large equipment for the hydroelectric and water distribution industries, specializing in design, manufacture, upgrades and servicing of high performance hydro-turbines and pumps. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=56268 Scooteney Reservoir Experiencing Toxic Algae Bloom
EPHRATA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation is alerting users of Scooteney Park recreation area, located 36 miles south of Moses Lake on Highway 17, that the Benton Franklin Health District has identified a toxic algae bloom on Scooteney Reservoir. <P> The Health District is warning that current algae levels are not safe for humans or animals and could be deadly. Warning signs stating that all people and pets remain out of the water have been posted around the reservoir. <P> Scooteney Park campgrounds and recreation area remains open, as does boating opportunities on the reservoir. <P>