Bear River Canal Slide

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Bear River Canal Slide

In April of 2010, a landslide occurred below the Bear River Canal near the town of Colfax, CA. The slide broke the sidewall of the canal and allowed 450 cfs of flows in the canal to wash away 5,000 CY of Earth. The failure of this canal interrupted the water supply to over 200,000 people including businesses, various agricultural commitments and four hydro generation facilities.

Syblon Reid was quickly given a contract to immediately begin repairs to the canal to restore water back to this vital water conveyance system. Time was of the essence and without delay Syblon Reid began working on a 24/7 basis to fill the washed out void in the hillside with approximately 2000 CY of fill concrete to provide a working bench at the existing canal elevation. A new concrete flume section was constructed on top of the concrete benched section.

While the new concrete flume section was being constructed, Syblon Reid set up two systems to provide water to the flume. First, a bulkhead was constructed on the upstream side of canal break and a pipe was laid on top of the new invert slab of the canal to continuously provide water by means of a gravity fed bypass system through the job site. Additionally, a high head pumping system was established downstream of the break to pump water from the river back up into the canal to ensure minimal flows were being made while Syblon Reid continued to construct the new flume section. Water flow was able to be restored to the canal 60 days ahead of the original scheduled date, minimizing the owner’s exposure to damages and exceeding the expectations of downstream water providers who are reliant upon the canal for continuous service.

Once water delivery was reestablished, Syblon Reid then continued construction by drilling and grouting 5 large anchors into the mass concrete placement. A large concrete grade beam was then constructed across the face to distribute the forces of the anchors across the entire face of the mass concrete backfill. Syblon Reid then constructed a temporary bridge across the flume in order to construct a road to the bottom of the slide. The road was used to support the installation of 147 drilled and grouted soil nails on each side of the slide. The soil nails were then covered with shotcrete and the landscape brought back as close as possible to the original formation.

Syblon Reid performed over 25,000 hours of high hazard aggressive work without a single loss time injury.

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