Tribal One-RJS Construction secure Bonneville Dam shoreline, fish ladder
A shoreline repair project completed by Tribal One and joint venture partner RJS Construction will improve the prospects for migrating salmon to navigate past the Bonneville Dam for their annual migrations on the Columbia River.
Work to repair the damaged shoreline was performed under a $6 million sole source award to the T1-RJS Joint Venture by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District. It is the first joint venture project completed by T1-RJS.
A 2021 spill event washed out the shoreline slope below the dam’s spillway leaving the B Branch fish ladder exposed to potential damage. According to Tim Beltz, Tribal One’s project manager, when specialized heavy equipment was needed to complete the repairs, the team called on J. E. McAmis, Inc., a heavy civil marine contractor, for support.
“Our team worked with J. E. McAmis to develop a creative solution to recover submerged materials and place new materials in a complex work environment,“ Beltz said. “The solution was to secure their CAT 6020B mining excavator, that utilized a custom-built extended boom for sea jetty work, onto the bow of their 211-foot barge Heidi Renee. This was the first time the J. E. McAmis team operated this excavator from a barge.
“This solution allowed us to recover and place back 3,600 tons of rock from the riverbed that previously washed out and place an additional 8,183 tons of new rock to rebuild the slope to meet the Army Corps of Engineers’ designed guidelines.”
A late-winter construction schedule created additional weather-related challenges including getting personnel and equipment to the site and working through an unusually cold and rainy season in the Columbia River Gorge. The team also faced a tight timeline to complete the project before the spring fish migration required opening the spillway.
“Our ability to identify and work with the right teaming partner and the ability of the T1-RJS team to work under tight deadlines contributed mightily to the success of this project,” Beltz said. “We understand that preventing erosion under this fish ladder is critical to the USACE Portland District’s mission and the continued safe operation of the Bonneville Dam.”
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