Called one of the largest dam removal projects in American history, the Elwha and Glines Dam Removal Project dismantled two dams that blocked native salmon runs for nearly a century.
The removal of both hydropower dams began after a U.S. Congressional Act passed in 1992 that initiated the restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem and its fisheries, which held strong support from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. Over four years, Barnard worked as the general contractor throughout the deconstruction of both dams and impounding sediment, as well as restoration work that re-created the natural gravel-bed spawning habitat for the native salmon population. With the dams’ adjacency to Olympic National Park, the project provided the unique opportunity for scientists to study how major dam removals could benefit wildlife management, conservation work, and the local community.
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
Owner: National Park Service (NPS)
Engineer: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Contract Type: Fixed Unit Price
Completion Date: September 2014
200,000 CY of sediment, rock, gunite, and trees removed
27,000 CY of concrete demolished and removed from both dams
70 miles of newly accessible waterways for native salmon