Today was an opportunity to visit Condit with two fluvial geomorphology students from University of Montana (), who are establishing 4 time-lapse camera units for tracking of sediment movement during the planned October flush. One of their stations is located on the east bank below the dam, along the trail currently being used by JR Merit and their sub-contractors for accessing the area below the dam.
This photo shows a group of workers installing scaffolds that will eventually support a walk-way and stairs leading to the drain tunnel at base of dam. Note that all dam overflows are now being diverted around the work site via a pipeline that leaves the tunnel site high and dry for the crew now mobilizing. Tunneling will start the week of 29Aug11 at the base of the dam, just to the right of the flush tube that is seen in the photo partially covered by a steel panel.
The photo below shows the front end loader that will be “flown-in” to the canyon via the now installed overhead cable yarding system. The loader will be used by the Kiewit crew for mucking demolition debris from inside the tunnel as it’s bored. Remember, there is absolutely no road access to the area shown in the top photo (or to the west side of the dam), hence the need to fly-in all tunelling required equipment via the cable yarder.