Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gold Ray Dam update

There isn’t much left of the Gold Ray Dam, on the Rogue River, near Tolo, downstream from Gold Hill, Oregon.  The 1941 concrete dam has been entirely removed, along with the 1904 log crib dam that had been buried underwater, just upstream.  Turns out, unbeknownst to anybody involved with the project, that sometime after November 1941 (when they tried to burn the old dam) they went ahead and covered the face of it with about 12” of concrete or gunite.  This made removal much harder and, unfortunately, meant that we couldn’t save a small section of the log dam for the proposed interpretative displays.

The powerhouse, along with its early 1905-era equipment, is also being removed.  Jackson County, which owns the property, and Slayden Construction, which is contracted to remove the in-stream features (I am under contract to Slayden), have done an incredible job of developing the interpretative kiosk that is to be located up the hill, overlooking the dam site, as part of our Section 106 mitigation plan.    

One entire generation unit, the turbines, the wicket gate controls, the lower and upper pulleys (those that were rope driven), plus the 750kW General Electric generator and the exciter will be removed from the powerhouse and relocated to the old Clubhouse pad. (That's one of the 42" diameter turbines, above, freed of the muck for the first time in four decades).  Interpretative panels will explain what these features are, how they worked, and the history of the Gold Ray site. Should be a pretty effective display.

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