Crescent Bar News and Information

January 7, 2015, blog

Wanapum Reservoir to Reopen at Noon on Jan. 7

Public access restored to most areas of the shoreline

EPHRATA, Wash.-- After Grant PUD raised the Wanapum reservoir by 17 feet in December, the utility, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and Washington State Parks have determined that the reservoir can reopen to the public at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 7.

Working in conjunction with other hydroelectric operators on the Columbia River, Grant PUD began raising the reservoir on Nov. 25 and finished on Dec. 1. After a thorough evaluation, the utility will restore public access to most of the shoreline.

Two boat launches are operational at the current river level – Grant PUD’s Wanapum Upper Boat Launch and the watercraft launch at Wanapum State Park just south of Vantage.  With the reopening of the reservoir, Washington State Parks will open the Wanapum State Park launch for daily access from 8 a.m. to dusk. Camping at the park remains on its regular winter schedule, open for camping only on weekends and holidays until March 1. The park will resume a daily operating schedule for campground and day use facilities after March 1, for the 2015 season. Read entire blog

Grant County PUD and CBI Agree to Move Forward on Dredging

July 15, 2014: Greetings Crescent Bar community members – we are writing to let you know that the PUD and CBI have officially approved an agreement that will allow the dredging project to move forward.  Under the agreement, work may begin as early as mid-August but the bulk of the excavation and hauling of material will occur after Labor Day.
The scope of work includes excavating the navigation channel (including the area beneath the bridge) and the western end of the boat basin west of the boat launch.  The PUD is still trying to secure a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to extend the boat launch; if the permit is issued in a timely manner, the boat launch extension will be included in the project.
This is indeed great news for the Crescent Bar community and for everyone who recreates in the Crescent Bar area.  It’s also a great example of folks working cooperatively to find common ground to benefit public recreation.  Thank you to everyone who has helped get us to this point.

Investigation Identifies Likely Cause of Wanapum Dam Fracture

BEVERLY, Wash.— Preliminary results of an extensive 11-week investigation by Grant PUD and its consultants has determined that the primary contributing factor to a fracture developing within the dam's spillway, was a mathematical error during the pre-construction design of Wanapum Dam.

The fracture forming on spillway monolith No. 4 may have been exacerbated by a weak construction joint. These results will be submitted to Grant PUD’s Board of Consultants for final review. Download Grant County PUD Wanapum Dam Spillway Information

A team of engineers discovered the mathematical error while examining the original design calculations of the Wanapum Dam spillway. When engineers recalculated the original design formulas they found that additional concrete and/or reinforced steel should have been included in the construction of the monolith.

The original designers of the dam miscalculated that the weight of the spillway’s concrete provided enough strength to resist the force of the water pushing against it. Over time this weak point on spillway pier No. 4 succumbed to the force of the water pushing against it until after approximately 50 years of operation, the fracture formed. Had Grant PUD engineers known of the design miscalculation earlier, the spillway could have been reinforced prior to a fracture forming.

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