Friday, June 23, 2023

Klamath Dam Removal: Copco 2 is Coming Down

Posted By on Fri, Jun 23, 2023 at 4:31 PM

click to enlarge Copco 2 is coming down. - COURTESY OF KRRC
  • Courtesy of KRRC
  • Copco 2 is coming down.
Progress is being made on the removal of Copco 2, the smallest and first of the four dams being dismantled on the Klamath River after choking the waterway's flows for more than a century.

According to a news release, crews this week “removed the gates, walkway and two of the five bays down to the spillway,” which was done “to direct waters around the dam, rather than over it, allowing construction crews to do work through the summer months.”

“While this is just the first step, it certainly is an exciting moment,” said Mark Bransom, CEO of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC). “Crews are making fast progress in these early stages of the project, and we are on track with our removal timeline.”

The decommissioning of the dam and completion of the removal process is expected sometime in September.

“We are pleased that we were able to make so much progress this week,” Dan Petersen, Kiewit’s Project Manager overseeing the removal of Copco 2, said in the release “But removing Copco No. 2 is still not a done deal. We expect to officially wrap up this phase of the dam removal project sometime in September.”

According to the plan, the removal of the remaining dams, Iron Gate, Copco 1 and JC Boyle, should be complete by sometime in late 2024, starting with the drawdown of the reservoirs in January.

For an in-depth look at the nation's largest dam removal project and the coinciding restoration effort, read the Journal’s April cover story, “Undamming (and Restoring) the Klamath,” here.
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Kimberly Wear

Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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