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Dredging Work to Begin this Week at John Redmond Reservoir

Posted on May 5, 2016

By Chuck Samples,

Barring some late — and unforeseen — issues, dredging should begin this week at the John Redmond Reservoir.

This is the formal start of a massive project to remove some three million cubic yards of dirt and rebuild some of the storage capacity after months of on-site preparation and years of planning. Eugene Goff of the US Army Corps of Engineers says recent rainfall and flooding runoff has caused some adjustments, but things are just about ready to go.

Matt Unruh of the Kansas Water Office agrees. He says final testing is taking place now to ensure smooth sailing for the next several months.

The silt will be transferred to a series of storage lagoons on the east side of the lake. Dredging could take most of the year. Once everything is done, the Water Office will study how things went and determine whether to proceed with another dredging project or try a less costly option.

John Redmond Reservoir has lost 42 percent of its water storage capacity since it opened in 1964. That’s about 80 percent more than originally anticipated and prompted the Water Office to consider asking the Corps for permission to dredge part of the lake. The Corps agreed, making this the first and largest so-called Section 408 project allowing a state entity to make major changes to a Corps civil works project.

Goff reminds people the damsite campground is closed because of the dredging, but that should reopen once the lake levels return to normal.


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