The Chelan County Public Utilities District has announced a maintenance project at the fishway at Tumwater Dam will require intermittent, one-lane closures of eastbound Highway 2 starting in late November.
The PUD is also planning an 8-hour, one-lane closure of eastbound Highway 2 in mid-December, depending on weather conditions and river flows.
Chelan PUD will temporarily divert the river to allow crews to reinforce and stabilize the entrance of the fishway with concrete. Fish passage will be maintained during most of the $370,000 project. The viewing platform will be closed to the public.
The work is expected to continue through January 2021. If weather or river flows delay the project this fall, the work may last into February or March 2021.
Tumwater Dam was originally constructed at the turn of the century to provide clean energy for trains travelling through the long tunnel at Stevens Pass. Chelan PUD acquired the dam in the 1950s and rebuilt the fishway in its current configuration in the late 1980s.
The fishway at Tumwater Dam is instrumental in helping Chelan PUD collect adult fish to meet its hatchery obligations under its Habitat Conservation Plans for Rocky Reach and Rock Island hydro projects. It is also an important site for fish study for several agencies, including Yakama Nation Fisheries, state Fish and Wildlife and Grant PUD.