Painted Sky Resource, Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) awarded the ﬁnal design contract for the Hartland Dam project to McLaughlin Water Engineering on March 19. McLaughlin, a Denver company, has experience in designing ﬁsh and boat passage projects in rivers with high rates of ﬂow.
McLaughlin will complete the ﬁnal design by mid-June 2010, according to the updated project schedule. After approval of the ﬁnal design, Painted Sky will release bid packages for construction. Slated to begin in August, construction should be completed by the end of October 2010.
Three workers, under the Teens on the Farm program, have been helping take down and move fences on private land bordering the program site on the Gunnison River near Delta.
Painted Sky started site prep work in mid-March. Three boys, paid through Teens on the Farm, a non-proﬁt program in Delta County, helped move and take down fences on private land bordering the river. ECO Contracting, LLC built a berm and prepared a site for rock storage. Dirt Merchants Construction was hired to install a culvert and improve the access for delivery of rocks.
McLaughlin started work for the ﬁnal design on March 29 by gathering data to map the river bottom. McLaughlin engineers will use the data to understand and predict how water ﬂows over the riverbed. Their design must provide for the impact of up to a 100-year ﬂood event.
Using laser-surveying equipment similar to devices used for surveying along roadsides, one man stands on the riverbank aiming a laser beam. A second man in a wetsuit stands in the river, holding the laser’s target. The team spent two days taking measurements 1,000 feet above the current dam and 1,000 feet below the dam.
The Hartland Dam Project will insure Hartland Irrigation Company’s access to their senior water rights and improve boater safety while traversing the dam.
The ﬁsh passage will reconnect river habitats and ﬁsh populations above and below the dam. As it exists now, the dam blocks three threatened species of bottom-dwelling, native ﬁsh, the ﬂannelmouth sucker, bluehead sucker and roundtail chub, from swimming upstream past the dam.
The new design will connect navigable river for rafters as well. Rafts crossing over the current dam without portaging around it have overturned, resulting in deaths. The new design will be safer for rafters and make trespassing on private property unnecessary…
For more information, contact Mike Drake, Painted Sky project manager at 970-527-4535 (ofﬁce) or cell 801-710-8372 or NRCS coordinator Paul Van Ryzin at 970-874-5726 ext. 133.