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Friday February 6, 2004


Fish Creek Dam
repair plan OKd

Express Staff Writer

The Idaho Department of Water Resources has approved a plan by the Fish Creek Reservoir Company to repair holes in Fish Creek Dam, located northeast of Carey.

"We propose to patch 11 holes in the downstream buttresses," said Marilyn Broek, an engineer from Twin Falls contracted by the reservoir owners to help them find a solution to their problem.

In November, state dam safety engineers ordered the Fish Creek Reservoir Company to prove that the 92-foot high dam is still safe. The Idaho Department of Water Resources said the dam might need to be breached to prevent its possible failure due to severe deterioration.

Members of the reservoir company said the dam needed repairs, but that they could not meet the 30-day deadline to fix the problem the state had initially set. The state agreed to grant the group an extension.

"The order we issued was to show cause why we shouldnt breach the dam," said Dick Larsen, spokesman for the Idaho Department of Water Resources. "This fulfills that."

If the approved, repairs will go forward as scheduled and the company will be allowed to fill the dam to its total capacity of 12,000 acre feet.

Larsen said the patching plan should provide a safe solution, but he said the patches are a temporary fix that would require future evaluation.

"Assuming they do the work properly, well grant a storage certificate," he said.

The plan is to chip out any loose material in the holes, which are about four to six inches in diameter and fill them with concrete.

Broek anticipates making a patch that is two feet in diameter and 18 inches thick, reinforced with iron rebar for integrity. The patches must be thoroughly tested before normal filling of the reservoir is approved, she said.

"It is a massive dam," she said. "The first time I saw it, it was like seeing the Coliseum. Its old and so am I, but Id hate to think that means I am useless. Its something Blaine County should be very proud of."

The work should be completed prior to April 1 and heavy spring runoff, Broek said.

She would like to start the work in February because the concrete takes 28 days to reach proper strength, she said.

The repair is expected to cost $55,000 and will be paid by the reservoir company.



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