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Gold Ray Dam Removal

The Gold Ray Dam Removal and River Restoration is a design-build project that included the removal of two dams, a powerhouse, and associated fish ladders. Removal of the Gold Ray Dams represents one of the largest dam removals ever undertaken in the United States. The concrete dam is 38 feet tall by 360 feet long and was constructed in 1941 just downstream of the original 1904 timber cribbed dam which was installed to divert water into the hydroelectric power generating plant that was decommissioned in 1972. The dam and powerhouse were given to Jackson County by the utility company in 1972 for recreational use. Economic Stimulus funds (2009 ARRA) allocated $5.5 million through NOAA – NMFS to design/acquire the required permits, remove the two dams, perform short-term restorations, and design the long-term restoration plan for this reach of the river.

Onsite work consisted of the diverting 3,000 cfs Rogue River flows by constructing native river alluvium, earth fill, cofferdams in the river, demolition of the 1941 concrete dam, demolition of the 1904 timber crib dam (both were run of the river dams), demolition of the powerhouse, its forebay, turbine pit, fish ladders and fish counting station. Special consideration was given during the demolition, to the historical value of the power generation equipment and a site was developed as a visitor’s interpretive area where select equipment was relocated for display near the old powerhouse. Upon successful removal of the dam and its facilities, work commenced on final grading and earthwork within the ordinary high-water limits and the restoration of 1,000 feet of river channel, banks, and riffles on Bear Creek, located near the head of the old reservoir pool.

Total Project Value: $6.1 million

Slayden Construction Role: Design-Build General Contractor

Owner: Jackson County