Asked to provide design consultation for a bridge renovation, we came to realize that the project called for reconstruction of both the bridge and dam that was an integral part of the bridge structure. The city sought not only a cost-effective solution but also one that provided leeway for aesthetic improvements. In addition, any dam design requires layers of state and federal engineering and wildlife mitigation approvals. Wildlife agencies required that migrating fish be able to negotiate the structure. The city also sought to provide on-river passage for recreational canoes and kayaks.
Because the dam’s location beneath the bridge made its maintenance difficult, our design separated the two structures and moved the dam downstream. The dam design includes a boat passage that allows canoes and kayaks to travel up or downstream without exiting their craft and portaging. The project also provides a fish passage, satisfying wildlife agency requirements and winning support from the local Sierra Club. In addition, the final solution provides improved flow and drainage for the surrounding upstream area during heavy rains and floods.
“Any dam requires layers of state and federal engineering and wildlife mitigation approvals.”
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