Dam Progressess

Dam Progresses

Solid Rock Fill Nears Completion.
Backed Up Water Makes Beautiful Pond By Town. 

The work on the power dam across the Deschutes at Bend has made great progress during the last few weeks, the final filling of rock being about half completed Already the course of the river has been almost entirely diverted from the main channel into the spillway, and the water backed up to the bend in front of the Drake house.

The dam, a solid rock fill, is 250 feet in width, 18 feet high, and will raise the water 14 feet when the spillways are closed. The spillway construction consists of a rock-fill crib with 12×12 inch timbers, all bolted to solid rock foundation, and is 250 feet long. Five gates have been installed in the spillway, two of which will be connected by a flume with a 50-inch turbine wheel with 210 horsepower capacity, which will be employed for generating electricity until the railroad’s advent makes practicable the completion of the big permanent power plant.

At the lower end of the spillway provision has been made for a log gate, to afford passage for logs through the dam if necessary. A fish ladder will be constructed to enable trout to get over the dam.

A remarkably beautiful pond will result from the dam’s completion, which, situated directly beside the town, will add a notable feature to Bend’s list of attractions.

Source: Bend Bulletin 1910-06-01

Highest Water Mark In Man’s History

Touches Mark of 3.40 Feet

Boom at Sawmill Broke, Bridge Carried Out, and Considerable Damage Done to Dam–Other Reports of High Water.

The staid old Deschutes has behaved shamefully during the past week, and has recorded a high water mark never before witnessed “in the memory of the oldest inhabitants.” The snow fall of a fortnight ago, followed by the prolonged and heavy rains of the past week, sent the old river on a small rampage, and did not inconsiderable amount of damage at Bend. The highest mark was recorded on the 26th and 27th when the gauge at the pumping station showed 3.40 feet. The crest  of the high water and on the 28th showed 3.20 feet and on the 29th it had dropped to 3 feet. At Bend where the gauge is stationed the river is exceptionally wide and the water undoubtedly “piled up” at much greater depths in other and narrower parts of the canyon.

This was the highest water ever known on the upper Deschutes. A. J. Awbrey, one of the oldest settlers on the  river, says that on February 11, 1907, the river at Bend registered 2.5 feet, which was the high mark up to that time. Thus the recent “flood” registered nearly a foot more water than there was in 1907. At this time the waters have gone over and buried all existing high water marks along the banks.

The damage at Bend was done late Friday afternoon, when the boom at the sawmill broke, letting out almost 150 logs. The flood carried these down rapidly and smashed them against the bridge at the mill crossing, tearing it out and making drift wood of that structure in short order. The liberated logs then raced down the river to where the power dam is being built. At that place timbers had been set in the river, across its entire width, to form supports for a bridge, from which load alter load of rocks were to be dumped  to form a part of the dam. These upright timbers were knocked over and carrled away, four bents only being left standing in the channel of the stream — two at each side. The high water and logs also tore out the foot bridge at the Linster place.

This was about the sum total of the damage at Bend, although the water overflowed the small dam built to divert, the river away from where the men were working on the larger structure, and caused a cessation of labor for several days. Practically no damage was done, however, in this particular.

No bridges have been washed out either above or below the town, although it was feared at one time that the new county bridge at Laidlaw would go out. A week ago Tumello creek went on a rampage, tore out the Columbia Southern headgate, and uprooted many large pine trees along its banks. The high water carried one of these down to the Laidlaw bridge and it lodged lengthwise across the pillars of that structure. This log was about 200 feet long. Two other logs were carried down and piled on top of the first as nicely us a crew of men could have done it. With the high water and the accumulated drift wood, one can Imagine the tremendous pressure that was thrown against the bridge. The men at Laidlaw heard of the precarious condition and voluntarily went down to do what they could to relieve it. They chopped out the branches of the trees, but on account of the lack of equipment, were unable to dislodge the logs As soon as possible the county officials got a crew to work. The logs were removed by sawing them into short lengths and letting the current carry them away. The bridge was not materially damaged, although the pressure had been so great that two or three bents were moved six or eight Inches down stream and one side of the structure was lifted a trifle higher than the other. At this time the bridge at the W. P. Downing homestead was also washed out.

Above Bend the ferry used by John Peters went out and washed against the new bridge in that locality, and the water began to pile up above the bridge. Millard Hawthorn discovered the trouble and chopped out the obstruction before any damage was done.

Several bridges are out on Squaw creek. The bridge across the creek a short distance east of Sisters went out and the water gouged out a channel that will require a structure 200 feet long to span it. At the bridge at the old Camp Polk place, the creek cut a new channel about six feet deep.

Dan Heising was In Bend last week from his home on the Matoles and reported that he knew of three bridges on tributaries of the Matoles that had been washed out, and that there was much high water through all that country.

When the rains started on the 18th, the water in the Deschutes stood at the Bend gauge at 1.28 feet. The story of the rise and fall is told in the following readings:

18th–1.28 feet.
19th–1.35 ”
20th–1.50 ”
21st–1.60 ”
22nd–2.15 ”
23rd–2.15 ”
24th–2.22 ”
25th–2.70 ”
26th–3.40 ”
27th–3.40 ”
28th–3.20 ”
29th–3.00 ”

Source: Bend Bulletin

Crew on Power Dam Increased


Work on the Project is Going Forward Steadily and Much is Being Accomplished —
Change in Plans From Ones First Adopted.

Work on the power dam at Bend is going forward steadily, of which the people of the town are fully aware, judging by the numerous heavy blasts they hear each day.  The crew has been augmented by 10 Italian laborers who came in from Portland last Saturday. A car load of cement is on the way from Shaniko to be used in the concrete work in various parts of the dam and power plant. The cement is a very expensive item in the cost of construction. Laid down at Shaniko it amounts to $3.80 a barrel. Freighted into Bend takes an additional $5.00 or a total cost of $8.80 per barrel.

Considerable changes have been made in the construction of the dam and power plant from the plans first contemplated. The main dam — as originally planned — will cross the river on an east and west line.  Running north some 300 feet from the east end of the dam and at right angles to it, another dam or retaining wall be built, approximately where the east bank of the river originally stood. Through this dam, which runs north and south, will be placed spillways through which the surplus water will be discharged into the present bed of the stream. From the north end of this dam, the water will be conducted through a short canal to the power plant and dropped 14 feet upon the wheels. This so called canal runs through a ridge of land and will require an excavation seven feet deep. The ground east and northeast of the dam and extending back to the rimrock, will all be under water. A bridge will be built across the top of the dam and spanning the entire river.

The power plant will be built with a capacity of 1,700 horsepower, but all construction is planned so that the plant may be easily enlarged, whenever desired.

Source: Bend Bulletin

Dam at Bend Will Develop Much Power

The location of the power dam at Bend has finally been chosen and it will be built about 400 feet below the water wheel that stands in the river in front of the Club Houses.  As announced In The Bulletin several weeks ago, the structure will be a rock fill dam. It will be made by dumping rock in the river, then overlaying these with gravel, brush, etc., followed by more rock, this again covered with gravel, until the dam will be practically water tight.

The dam will raise the water eight feet. As there is a depth now of about three feet of water at the deepest point, and as the dam will extend at least two feet above the high water line, the total height will be approximately 13 feet. It will be 300 feet long, eight feet wide on top, and will have a slope of 2 to 1 on both the up and down stream sides. This will give it a width of 60 feel on the base. A spill-way take care of the flow of the river, will lie built around the west end. The water cannot be allowed to wash over the top of this sort of a dam.

Pull particulars in regard to the construction of the power plant could not be obtained for this issue.  One plan that is considered quite favorably, however, is to take out a canal from the cast end of the dam, carry the water on a high line to about the location of the present pumping plant, and there drop it on a wheel. It is possible to secure a 14 foot drop by this means. The Bulletin was also unable to learn the amount of power that will be developed, but it is understood that it is possible to generate 3,000 horsepower from the dam.

A. M. Drake will arrive in Bend from Portland the latter part of the week, and soon thereafter the work of building the dam will be taken up in earnest and pushed to an early completion. Mr. Drake, has purchased a full supply of the necessary tools and dam building paraphernalia.

Superintendent of Construction Danielson has had a force of 10 men at work during the past week. Part of them are engaged in building a bridge across the river near the site of the dam. Cribs are built on the river bank, then floated out, at the end of two strong guy ropes, to the desired location, sunk and filled with rock. These cribs will act as piers for the bridge. As the current is quite swift, the placing of the cribs is no child’s play and requires considerable muscle and no small degree of skill. It is interesting work to watch. Others of the crew are engaged in clearing the flat on the east side of the river–removing logs and general debris. From 50 to 60 men will be employed when the work is in full swing.

Source: Bend Bulletin

Work Begins at Once on Dam in Deschutes

A. M. Drake arrived In Bend last evening, accompanied by John T. Whistler and M. J. Danielson. Mr. Drake comes to set in motion the building of the dam in the Deschutes, construction of which was announced in The Bulletin several weeks ago. Mr. Whistler is an experienced hydraulic engineer, having been in the employ of the U. S. government for some time, and will have supervision of the engineering features. Mr. Danielson is an experienced dam builder and will hold the position of superintendent of construction. Work on the dam will be begin at once, and when finished an electric power plant will be installed, to furnish power for the pumping plant and to light the town.

As we go to press, Messrs, Drake, Whistler and Danielson are making an examination of the river, with the view of choosing the location of the dam. One site considered is directly in front of the Club Houses and another in the wide bend of the river just above the Linster planing mill. The final location will be somewhere between these two points.

It is impossible to give the details of construction, length, height, and general size of the dam, until the location is finally chosen. A full description will be given in our next issue. This will be the first dam on the Deschutes built for power purposes.

Source: Bend Bulletin

Bend Will Soon Have Electric Light Plant

bend-bulletin-3-3-1909Bend will have electric lights in the near future. A. M. Drake has fully decided to put in a dam and power plant and will supply the town with the long desired electric system. Mr. Drake has modified his plans somewhat and will build the first dam across the river a short distance from the present pumping plant. There is a natural site there for a small dam, and Mr. Drake’s plan for the present is to develop what power will be needed for an electric light plant and for pumping water for the city system. Work will begin on the dam in the immediate future and the plant will be pushed to completion.

Later, when there is more demand for power, a dam will be built in the narrow gap directly north of the old bunk house site, but nothing will be done with that project at present.

Source: Bend Bulletin 3-3-1909

Power Plant For Bend

Mr. John Steidl announced to The Bulletin this week that when A. M. Drake was here recently he made a filing on the waters of the Deschutes with the view of building a power plant at Bend. The filing was made to cover a location at the narrow place in the river just north of the site of the old bunk house. Present plans contemplate the building of a dam at that point, and the installation of a large electric power plant.

Mr. Steidl was not in possession of full particulars of the sire of the plant contemplated, but he said that he expects engineers to arrive at Bend this month to make the necessary surveys. Mr, Drake is in negotiation with capitalists who are interested in power projects, and he expects to have them associated with him in this enterprise.

Such a plant would be hailed with delight by Bend people as it would afford electric lighting facilities, and electric power when that commodity is needed. If this plant is installed it will be the pioneer one in the Bend country, and will be a forerunner of a vast industry that will some day be developed when the thousands of horse-power along the Deschutes now going to waste are put to beneficial use.

Source: Bend Bulletin