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Posted 8/14/2012

Release no. 12-047

Scott Clemans

Parts of Wylie Park to close to accommodate new facility, construction

PORTLAND, Ore. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District will soon start a major construction project at Foster Dam near Sweet Home, Ore., to upgrade parts of the dam’s existing adult fish facility and construct a large new facility in Wiley Park on the south bank of the South Santiam River.

The Corps awarded an $18.6 million construction contract to The Natt McDougall Company of Tualatin, Ore.  McDougall will start moving equipment to the site and begin preparatory work within the next month.  Construction activity will continue through early 2014.

The east end of Wylie Park will be permanently removed from public use to accommodate the new facility.  The Corps selected the site because it has the largest amount of clear space available and is already Corps property.

“We will also temporarily close other parts of the park for workers to use as a staging area, but we anticipate keeping at least some sections of the park open for public use throughout construction,” said Tami Schroeder, Willamette Valley Project park manager.

Some short-term, temporary closures of the Wiley Park boat ramp are also likely, Schroeder said, but it will remain open as much as possible during construction, particularly during fishing seasons.

Schroeder also warned that heavy equipment and vehicles will be regularly entering and exiting the site, possibly resulting in short-term traffic delays.  Flaggers may be on site during heavy traffic periods.  A small amount of construction in the forebay is also required, so traffic control may be implemented at times on Foster Dam Road itself.

Upgrading this and several other adult fish facilities is one of the measures called for in the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2008 biological opinion, which addresses protection of endangered Upper Willamette Basin spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead.  The new facility will greatly improve the hands-free collection, sorting and transportation of wild fish above the dam to allow them to spawn naturally.

For more information about the Foster Dam Adult Fish Facility Upgrade Project, visit Portland District’s website at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/About/Currentprojects/FosterFishCollectionFacilityRebuild.aspx.  Short-term closures and other impacts will also be announced on Portland District’s Facebook and Twitter sites at http://www.facebook.com/portlandcorps and http://twitter.com/portlandcorps.