EPHRATA, Wash. ( - Dealing with that cracked dam on the Columbia River is going to cost about $61 million.
That's the estimate given Tuesday to the Grant County Public Utility District.
The estimate of $61 million includes all costs associated with: fracture investigation, spillway repairs, fish passage modifications, shoreline protection and power supply costs. It could change as the utility continues to investigate the cause of the fracture.
The 65-foot long crack on a spillway of Wanapum Dam was discovered in February. The reservoir was dropped 26 feet to relieve pressure on the crack, and the dam is generating only about 50 to 60 percent of the power it could produce.
The utility will use a combination of reserve funds, debt financing and expense reductions to cover the costs.
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