Elk Creek Dam Notching
Information on the 2008 deconstruction of the Elk Creek Dam.
Update: (September 15, 2008) The last in a series of explosions designed to remove the mid-section of Elk Creek Dam has been completed. On Saturday, September 13, work crews rerouted much of the flow of Elk Creek back into the original stream channel. Read the Medford Mail Tribune story.)
More than twenty years after an Oregon Wild lawsuit halted construction of the partially completed Elk Creek Dam, the concrete monolith is finally coming down. Sort of.
In the summer of 2008, the US Army Corps of Engineers will carry out demolition work to "notch" the middle section of Elk Creek Dam. The goal of the project is to restore natural stream flow and allow for salmon to pass through the dam unimpeded. Finally, Elk Creek and the salmon that run up the Rogue and into the beautiful waters of Elk Creek can breathe easy (even if they have to use gills).
(Click on the photos to see a larger view)
Preliminary work began in early June of 2008. Crews will first reroute the river around the dam. Then, starting in mid-July a series of 8-9 blasts will begin after which rubble will be cleared. In September, Elk Creek should be flowing freely once again.