Work to improve boat navigation near Crescent Bar is expected to begin next month, according to an agreement reached between Grant PUD and Crescent Bar Inc.
Under the agreement, Grant PUD will remove about 45,000 cubic yards of sediment in the channel that connects the Crescent Bar Boat Launch with the main-stem Columbia River. The boating channel is currently dry, because of the reservoir drawdown in response to repairs on the Wanapum Dam spillway. The drawdown is expected to continue until the fourth quarter of this year.
Grant PUD is accelerating its plan to dredge the channel, a recreation enhancement required under its federal license, so the work can be performed during the dry conditions. Doing so will reduce environmental impacts, provide better quality control, allow for a shorter construction period and provide a cost-savings to Grant PUD ratepayers.
The utility will hold an abbreviated bid process for qualified contractors. Preliminary work is expected to begin in mid-August, after a contractor is selected and all the necessary permits and approvals are obtained.
The majority of the dredging will take place after Labor Day weekend to reduce impacts to residents and those recreating in the area. It is anticipated that the project will take about six to 10 weeks to complete and should be finished before Grant PUD begins raising the level of the Wanapum reservoir.
“There has been much interest from all involved parties on doing this work now while the reservoir level is down,” said Bob Bernd, Grant PUD board president. “This is the right time to do this project and we believe it will provide a great benefit for recreation in the area for many years to come when it is finished.”
Randy Hoefer of Crescent Bar Inc. said: “We are happy to work together with Grant PUD to come up with a plan to get the dredging project completed. This is something that will be good for the whole community.”
Press Release, July 15, 2014