Project Name

Gold Ray Dam Removal (UPDATED)

Dam Removal and Restoration
Client / Agency
Jackson County Roads & Parks
Slayden Construction Group, Inc., HDR, Inc.
White City, Oregon
2009 - 2010
Project Description
The design-build team of Slayden Construction Group, Inc. (SCG), River Design Group, Inc. (RDG) and HDR, Inc. was retained by Jackson County Roads and Parks to perform environmental studies, dam removal design and permitting, and deconstruction of the Gold Ray Dam. The existing concrete dam was built in 1941 and consists of a 38 foot high concrete structure spanning 360 feet across the Rogue River and included a powerhouse with ancillary structures.

RDG was responsible for project management of the design-build process including coordination of public meetings, facilitating permits, and development of construction phasing with the contractor. RDG was on-site during all the phases of construction to ensure fish passage and salvage actions are undertaken according to approved plans. In addition to removal of the dam and powerhouse structures, a restoration plan was implemented for Bear Creek, a major tributary to the Rogue River in the reservoir area. As a result of lowering the reservoir and restoring flow to natural conditions, the Bear Creek confluence required reconstruction to ensure fish passage. The entire project was completed within budget and on schedule in a paramount undertaking to open the Rogue River for 157 miles of unhindered fish passage.

Related Content

  • Current economy Recereational potential thus far remains untapped at former dam sites
    Mail Tribune by Greg Stiles April 28, 2012 Current economy Recereational potential thus far remains untapped at former dam sites The removal of Gold Ray, Gold Hill and Savage Rapids dams on the Rogue River has created recreational opportunities that in turn could create jobs in Jackson County. That was among the findings of an economic study of new opportunities on the river that was released this week. [ View ]
  • After the Flood
    After the Flood by Juliet Grable. Dams across the United States are being decommissioned and rivers restored to their natural flow. As scientists are learning, tearing down the barriers is just the first step in returning a river to health [ View ]
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Project Images

Aerial view of Gold Ray Dam spanning the Rogue River showing fish ladders and forebay to powerhouse.
A view of the Gold Ray Dam and powerhouse on the Rogue River prior to removal in 2010. The dam was constructed of concrete with a height of 38 ft and spanned across the river over 360 ft.
Project managers stand on a portion of the Gold Ray Dam during removal. From left to right, Scott Wright (RDG), John Vial (Jackson County), and Darren Funk (Slayden Construction Group).
Aerial view shows how the Phase 1 cofferdam was used to isolate half of the Gold Ray Dam removal. Fish passage was maintained through the existing fish ladder on the left side of this photo.
Phase 1 of Gold Ray Dam removal project showing isolation of half of the dam to begin removal. Fish passage was maintained through the fish ladder with daily observations verifying.
Picture showing the large number of track hoes and equipment necessary for quick removal of the Gold Ray Dam.
Picture of the extensive number of track hoes used for removal of the Gold Ray Dam. Due to the short project schedule and sensitive nature of the Rogue River with salmon and steelhead adults moving through the river all year, a quick removal of the dam was critical.
Large amount of equipment used to remove the Gold Ray Dam and minimize in-water work.
Fish salvage in and around the Gold Ray Dam was critical component to the success of the project. This picture shows our crew making sure all fish have been salvaged during the dam removal process.
A view of the Rogue River after removal of the Gold Ray Dam and after several large flow events. Natural processes have been restored with large wood and sediment beginning to naturally create valuable habitat.
Aerial view of Gold Ray Dam six months after dam removal.

Related Videos

The Gold Ray Dam was removed in 2010 by Jackson County. The design-build team of Slayden Construction Group, River Design Group, and HDR spearheaded the dam removal project. Scott Wright, P.E. (RDG), Darren Funk (SCG), and John Vial (Jackson County) served as the project managers to implement this monumental dam removal that freed over 157 miles of main stem Rogue River for fish passage.