With Lake Powell at lowest level since 2005, Park Service excavating Castle Rock Cut
National Park Service, Associated Press
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Lake Powell has reached its lowest level since 2005, the year of its historical low.
The National Park Service is capitalizing on the low water as a prime time to resume its digging work at the Castle Rock Cut, a popular shortcut for boaters. The channel has been closed since February 2013 due to low water. It is closed when the shortcut's water depth drops below 5 feet.
"Because of the lower lake levels, it's an opportune time to be doing the excavation," said Denise Shultz, a spokesperson for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
The Park Service hopes that deepening the cut will allow for longer periods of use during the season in the future. The cut saves about 10 miles of boating.
"This not only saves time and gas for boaters," stated NPS Project Manager Carl Elleard, "but it also provides for a safer boating experience."
Lake levels typically drop in winter and rise again following spring and the inflow of snowmelt. Despite a heavy monsoon season in northern Arizona, a depleted snowpack upriver from Lake Powell left the lake lower this year than it was last January.
"Right now we haven't been able to use (Castle Rock Cut) all season because the lake level has been too low," Shultz said.
"As the lake comes back up again, it will fill that cut and, depending on the draft of your boat, people will be able to use it," Shultz added.
Dredging work began on Tuesday and will take about four months to complete. Approximately 70,000 cubic yards of material must be removed at a cost of $1.6 million. Once completed, the digging will lower the elevation of the cut to approximately 3,580 feet.
The work is being done by Brown Brothers Construction of Loa, Utah.
- Lehi toddler killed in accident remembered as...
- Preparing to split up, LDS General Primary...
- A river runs dry: Water and the future of...
- Cyclist killed on training run after...
- Photo gallery: Holi festival immerses Utahns...
- Utah taxpayers will pay millions more in wake...
- American Fork cyclist killed during training...
- Boy, 3, killed in Lehi scooter accident
- President Obama to make first trip to... 114
- Obama expected to stay overnight in... 58
- Sen. Harry Reid's retirement recalls... 42
- Utah taxpayers will pay millions more... 42
- School leaders look for solutions to... 26
- Cyclist killed on training run after... 23
- A river runs dry: Water and the future... 16
- San Diego woman wins damages against... 15