Elk Creek Project Lands Follow-On

Location: Rogue Valley, 25 Miles NE of Medford, Oregon

As a result of a court injunction in the 1980’s that stopped construction of the Elk Creek Dam on the Rogue River system, the US Army Corps of Engineers has been working to return some of the land originally intended to be inundated by the new lake to public use as a recreation site. Catworks was fortunate to be awarded a contract to implement a portion of the work for that effort.

Catworks’ contract included the design of a new side channel to a portion of Elk Creek to address overflow issues of a portion of Elk Creek which could leave anadromous fish species stranded after a high water event and design and construction of two bridges to replace two existing failing timber bridges and the rehabilitation of 1.25 miles of paved roadway to a new trailhead. This included installation of several access control gates, boulder barriers, and roadway signage. Other work completed as part of the project included clearing and tree falling, demolition and removal of two existing timber bridges and the removal of 15 tons of reinforcing steel from precast slab forms used in the dam construction and subsequent burial of the remaining slabs with 15,000 cubic yards of Government furnished material from existing stockpiles to facilitate new public access to the former dam site.

The project was broken in to two phases of construction in addition to the design components. Design work commenced in October of 2014 with bridge design work completed in time for steel fabrication and shipping of the bridges to meet the construction schedule. The Side Channel design was completed with minimal revisions and was accepted by the USACE until further funding becomes available which will allow for its construction.

Work to rehabilitate the roadway and work to remove the rebar and bury the slabs as well as installation of the new access control gates, boulder barriers and new signage was completed in the spring of 2015. This allowed the road to be opened to the public on the normal opening date, May 1.

The final chip sealing of the roadway and the replacement of the bridges was completed during the months of July and August in the summer of 2015 due to the temperature requirements for the chip seal work and the in-water work window for the bridges. Both bridges were completed simultaneously right before Labor Day which allowed the public full recreational access to the completed project area over the long weekend holiday to enjoy the Elk Creek valley’s unique features and bounty of wildlife.

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