Construction to close passage over Mill Creek dam

A crane will be installed to help clear logs and debris from the dam's diversion gate compartment.

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WALLA WALLA -- Installation of a crane on the Mill Creek diversion dam at Rooks Park will close access across the dam starting today.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials said the work will close access to a portion of the Whitetail Trail along the east side of the Bennington Lake intake canal. Officials anticipate reopening the trail access in late-November, said Gina Baltrusch, Corps public information specialist.

As an alternative path to Bennington Lake, visitors can use the maintenance road on the west side of the intake canal.

The purpose of the crane is to assist removal of logs and trash racks from the diversion gate's compartment to a storage area. The trash racks are required to be in place at certain times of the year to keep debris from damaging the fish screens while Bennington Lake is being filled for recreational use. The fish screens keep threatened fish species from entering Bennington Lake.

The work will also reduce the risk of debris blocking an intake gate during high water flows.

Information about this project as well as general information about Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake is available at 527-7160.

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