August 12 Canal Repair Update Meeting

Excavation of soil above the tunnel collapse
Figure 1. Workers excavate soil above the tunnel collapse to reduce the potential for further collapse.

August 12 Canal Repair Update Meeting

The Gering-Ft Laramie Irrigation district will host a public meeting Monday (August 12) at 10 a.m. at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center (4502 Ave I, Scottsbluff) to update farmers and landowners on the repair of the July 17 tunnel collapse and canal breach that disrupted water deliveries to irrigation district customers.

Water delivery has been interrupted to about 55,000 acres of cropland in the Gering-Fort Laramie district and more than 50,000 acres under the Goshen Irrigation District, in Wyoming, served by the canal.

A livestream (Zoom) link will be available on a website that Nebraska and Wyoming Extension have set up to provide resources for irrigators affected by the tunnel collapse. The link will allow people to view the meeting live on their computers. The website is https://go.unl.edu/canal

Read more about the collapse and available resources on the site and in CropWatch at https://cropwatch.unl.edu/tags/canal-irrigation.

Inside the tunnel
Figure 2. The point of the tunnel collapse, approximately 625 feet from the north tunnel inlet entrance, is now barricaded with wood to stop further collapse. Fresh air is forced through the gold tube 24/7 to ensure workers have a steady supply.
Metal ribs used to reinforce tunnel walls
Figure 3. These metal ribs will be installed to help reinforce tunnel walls near the site of the collapse.
Canal repairs
Figure 4. Dirt work is underway to repair the area where the Goshen/Gering-Ft. Laramie canal breached its sidewall July 17, flooding nearby farmland.

Repairing the Goshen/Gering-Ft. Laramie Tunnel from the Top Down and Inside Out

Photos and text by Gary Stone

Workers at the site of the tunnel collapse in the Goshen/Gering-Ft. Laramie irrigation canal in Wyoming are working above ground as well as through the tunnel to excavate loose dirt and reinforce and repair the tunnel walls. Excavation at the actual site of the tunnel collapse (Figure 2) has not started yet.

Work on the canal bed and side where the water washed out both should be completed this Saturday, August 10.  Work to excavate the tunnel site collapse continues so that a complete assessment of the damage to the tunnel structure can be made. A more detailed accounting of the work progress will be made at public meetings on Monday, August 12 for the Gering-Ft Laramie and Goshen Irrigation Districts.