River users urged to be cautious when using area
The Bureau of Reclamation today will begin dredging a 50-acre open water area of Imperial Reservoir, just upstream of Imperial Dam.
Dredging operations will run 24 hours a day, Mondays through Saturdays. Dredging operations are not anticipated to occur on Sundays. The project is scheduled to be completed in approximately 12 to 15 months.
A large, floating dredge barge, work boats, and a pipeline will be used during the activities. The equipment will be based at and launched from a site near Hidden Shores RV Park, on the Arizona side of the Colorado River approximately 20 miles north of Yuma, Ariz.
Reclamation does not anticipate closing the area around the dredging site, but boat access will be regulated near the work area. For additional safety, navigational hazards in the river channel and around the dredging equipment will be illuminated at night. Recreational users and watercraft operators are encouraged to exercise caution and to stay clear of all dredging operations. Operational noise is expected to be minimal.
In January 2010, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Reclamation awarded an $11.8 million contract to CJW Construction, Inc. of Santa Ana, Calif., to remove the sediment that has accumulated over the last several years behind the Imperial Diversion Dam. Mobilization of heavy equipment for the project began in mid-April.
This routine maintenance work is being performed to ensure continued Colorado River water deliveries to the All-American and Gila Gravity Main canal headworks. These two canals serve approximately 600,000 acres of farmland and surrounding Yuma area municipalities. Approximately 1.2 million cubic yards of material will be dredged from the site.