Work begins tearing down 1920s-era Eklutna River dam. At 120 meter tall, the biggest crane in Alaska is working to lower equipment to the site of the Eklutna River dam that is being demolished by Eklutna Inc. this summer. The dam was built in the 1920s and over the years became a dumping ground for everything from televisions to derelict cars.
"It takes the largest crane known to exist in Alaska to handle the job".
Deconstructing the old dam wedged in an Eklutna River ravine begins this month, a megaproject to eventually help native salmon return to home waters.
It takes the largest crane known to exist in Alaska to handle the job, McQueen said. Getting the crane to the work area took 40 tractor-trailer trucks. At 120 meter feet tall, the crane is charged with the task of lowering bulldozers and other equipment about 200 feet into the canyon. The crane was installed in last season’s work.
The $7.5 million project is funded by the Conservation Fund in a partnership with Eklutna Inc., which is providing the labor, Eklutna CEO Curtis McQueen said June 5 at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Make it Monday Forum.
Eklutna Inc. became the default owners of the derelict dam because it was built there in 1929 on the traditionally Dena’ina Athabaskan land. It was abandoned after World War II when the new Eklutna dam began to supply more power to the burgeoning wartime Anchorage population.
Now the task is to take the dam out, McQueen said. “More than 300,000 cubic squares of sediment has built up, along with junk cars, television sets and all kinds of trash thrown there”. Much of that was taken out last year. This summer’s work involves installing a system to secure the job site and make it safe so that large concrete slabs can be chiselled into smaller chunks.
Source: Alaska Journal of Commerce