Demolition begins again at Elwha River dams


Since September, Glines Canyon Dam has been notched down 32 feet (at 210 feet tall, it’s the tallest dam ever removed). This photo was taken on Dec 15.

Deconstruction kicks back into action today at the Elwha River dams, after a planned work stoppage since Nov. 1 (crews paused their sediment-releasing dam removal work to protect salmon runs in the river).

According to Olympic National Park officials, plans at Elwha Dam this week include diverting the river back into the right channel (looking downstream) and beginning another reservoir drawdown.

At Glines Canyon Dam, crews will reassemble the barge and excavator-mounted hydraulic hammer and complete modifications to the onsite crane, with dam demolition work scheduled to begin on December 27.

You can follow the dam removal on the park’s six web cams.

In the coming weeks we will be releasing another video by Andy Maser about the Elwha – the third video in our Year of the River series.

And if you’re in the Seattle area, please join us at the REI flagship store on January 11 for a talk and video screening about the Elwha restoration effort.

This historic river restoration project on the Elwha – the biggest dam removal ever – was one of the reasons American Rivers dubbed 2011 the Year of the River

Deconstruction began in September and will take a couple years. We’re excited for what 2012 holds, and we will continue to share the milestones with you as the Elwha comes back to life!

(And if you like this project, and want to see more obsolete dams come down, please consider a year-end gift to American Rivers. Our work to restore free-flowing rivers just isn’t possible without the support of people like you!)