Repairs Underway at Cracked Wanapum Dam - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Repairs Underway at Cracked Wanapum Dam

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EPHRATA, Wash. - The Grant Public Utility District says workers have taken the first big step in the multi-million dollar project to repair the cracked Wanapum Dam.

The district says workers have installed the first of 35 steel anchors that will root the dam into the bedrock.

The roughly $69 million repair project will continue into 2015, but the utility district believes it will be able to start raising the reservoir behind the Wanapum Dam by the end of 2014.

The reservoir was lowered 26 feet after divers discovered a 65-foot-long crack in the dam in February. 

After an 11-week investigation, the utility district announced that a math error in the planning of the dam likely caused the crack.

Many points along the shoreline -- including boat launches, recreation areas, and beaches -- were closed after the district lowered the reservoir's water level.

The district says when it does raise the water level, it will reopen all of those areas. Until then, those areas are still closed to the public.

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