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Emergency Canal & Tunnel News

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TORRINGTON, Wyo. (RELEASE) August 7, 2019--The Goshen Irrigation District, along with the Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation District releases its weekly update for the emergency tunnel collapse and canal repair project to keep landowners and public aware of its ongoing repair efforts which began on July 27, 2019. The project is progressing and moving ahead as expected with still many unknowns of the inner tunnel damage and its stability. 

Canal Repair and Restoration Project
Within days of the collapse, efforts to rebuild the main canal have been ongoing to stabilize the floor, banks, and restore the canal to its original holding capacity. The bank sides have been rebuilt up to around 8 feet high with final target height of 15-20 feet. The canal rebuild is going as planned with no delays or issues.  

Tunnel Repairs
The tunnel repairs and inner damage assessment remain ongoing. The tunnel crew is continuing the process of drilling holes in the tunnel ceiling and examining the concrete depth and thickness. Ribbing structures/supports are then being installed inside the tunnel to ensure stability and safety. Once the work area is secure, a highly specialized foaming grout is pumped into the ceiling where it expands and fills any holes, voids or spaces above the tunnel.  The tunnel crew secured the tunnel to approximately 625 feet from the entrance. They have encountered the dirt and debris from the first and smallest collapse in the tunnel. Crews are now walling up the tunnel to prevent any cave-ins or dirt collapses. The wall will allow the crew to excavate the dirt and push the wall forward while moving dirt out of the tunnel. The crew will continue to secure the inner tunnel and move towards the second and largest collapsed area. While the repair efforts are progressing, the unknown nature of damage to the walls and ceiling has yet to be fully examined and keeps the project in a “design as you go” scenario.    


Sinkhole Excavation and Stability Efforts
Since last week, additional crews and machinery focused on excavating the sinkhole from above ground to the area of the tunnel breach. What was once a hole, has expanded to a massive area of dirt extraction and stabilization.  The tunnel ceiling is approximately 150 feet deep from the surface. As the excavation crew nears the tunnel ceiling, large trench boxes will be installed in a few days to surround the collapse tunnel ceiling, to minimize dirt fill into the tunnel, and allow repair workers to explore the damaged and collapsed ceiling from above.   

LANDOWNER MEETING AUG. 12th – 2pm
A second informational meeting for landowners and the public has been set for August 12th at 2pm at the EWC Auditorium. The meeting will feature resources and speakers from UWYO/UNL Extension partnership efforts, an update from the GID Commissioners and any other additional information and updates. Additional meeting information and updates can be found at GoshenIrrigation.com or via its Facebook page.  

TIMELINE AND WATER RESTORATION
As noted above, this project consists of three full-time ongoing efforts to repair, maintain and secure the areas damaged by the massive collapse and breach. The project is moving ahead as planned without delays, but GID stresses the public and landowners will be informed of any 3 time or water restoration dates when they become available and certain. Any reports or updates beyond GID’s official posts and statements should be not be relied on without any guarantee of certainty or accuracy.  

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Category: regional news

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