Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Friday, June 23, 2023 @ 9:41 a.m.

Klamath River Dam Removal Project Commences; KRRC Says Construction Crews Will Have Copco No. 2 Out In September

Kiewit crews deconstruct Copco No. 2, one of four Klamath River dams slated for removal. | Photo by Shane Anderson of Swiftwater Films

From the Klamath River Renewal Corporation:

The deconstruction of Copco No. 2, the smallest of the four hydroelectric dams being removed from the Klamath River, is underway. This week, crews removed the gates, walkway, and two of the five bays down to the spillway. This work 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.” 

Crews placed around 10 feet of rock on either side of the dam in order to reach the gates and bays for deconstruction. Much of the Copco No. 2 infrastructure remains in place below this rock surface. Deconstruction of this dam will continue through the summer, with final decommissioning and complete removal occurring sometime in September. 

“We are pleased that we were able to make so much progress this week,” noted Dan Petersen, Kiewit’s Project Manager overseeing the removal of Copco No. 2 “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.” 

The other three dams, Iron Gate, Copco No. 1, and JC Boyle are expected to be removed next year, beginning with the drawdown of the reservoirs in January of 2024. Their incremental deconstruction will continue throughout the year, with construction activities expected to conclude sometime in late 2024.


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