Engine woes to delay dredging of pond

Mechanical problems will delay the dredging of Bend’s Mirror Pond for at least a week, and perhaps as long as 30 days.

A 1,600-horsepower diesel engine on the 70-foot-long dredge being used on the pond suffered a “massive internal failure” Monday, according to Tom Gellner, the city’s public works director.

Sandau Dredging, the Salem firm that owns the equipment  called in a Troutdale diesel mechanic Tuesday to assess the situation. The mechanic estimated making repairs could take as long as 30 days, company owner Don Sandau said.

But Dick Turnow of Bend, the company’s project superintendent, said the company has found a possible replacement engine in Phoenix, Ariz., with a price “in the $60,000 range.” It could be imported and put to operation in about a week, he said.

Even if repairs did take a month, the city would not be concerned, said Gellner.

“They’ve still got three months to finish the project,” Gellner said, adding that the company has “plenty of time, with that big dredge.”

The city has given Sandau from April 1 through July 31 to get the job done. The company began work on April 25.

Asked if he knew what caused the breakdown, Sandau said, “No, not completely- not without tearing the engine apart and inspecting it visually throughout the whole area.”

He called the breakdown “highly unusual.”

“I guess it’s the first time in this man’s years in working with these engines he’s seen anything like it,” Sandau said of the mechanic from Troutdale, who he declined to name.

Sandau said he bought the engine new in August 1981.

The engine failure isn’t the only trouble the project has seen. Sandau said some sections of the 8,000-foot plastic pipeline he is using to pump the dredged material to an upstream holding pond has split lengthwise because of defects in manufacturing.

Because of the breakdown and problems with the pipeline, the company won’t make a profit on the Mirror Pond job, Turnow said.

Source: The Bulletin ©1984

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