Sunday, June 28, 2015

Safety Hazard at Bulls Bridge (ongoing construction debris)

The old wires that work crews had used to work under Bulls Bridge were cut and allowed to fall into the river when the crew set up new ones.  Be very careful about these wires.  They do not give the same indications when they are just below the surface as a log would.


Ted and I put on the river today around 4 pm.  The level on the paint was just above 1.  We saw old cables draped across the concrete abutment and decided to clean up the debris that the work crews had not.


One of the cables was stuck, and is still in the water.  The second one could be pulled on to shore completely (river left) and placed above the 3' mark.  Both are still attached to the bank, so need to be cut with a torch or cutoff wheel.  I may approach the work crew this week to see what their plan if for this stuff.


One thing to note is that this does not mean that the work crew was being lazy or purposely irresponsible.  Most people do not know that things falling into the river present a hazard to the boating community (and it is our job to educate them).  There are some cables on shore, by the road, indicating that the crew was replacing old cables with new ones so they could safely work under the bridge.  The arrows show the new cables used to support the work platform.  

To summarize:  one cable is still in the water as of tonight.  More debris may fall into the water as the bridge is repaired.  The work crew has a quitting time, and whatever is not finished at that time is left for the next work day, so the whitewater community has to be alert around this job site.

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Update (June 30):
I spoke with the work crew yesterday.  They understood the hazard that debris would present to boaters, particularly cables, and promised to remove them all.  When a few of us paddled at the end of the day, it was apparent that they only removed the cables that were easy to access and left the ones that Ted and I had clean up on the shore and still extending into the water.  Be very careful about these.  They are on river left side.  They are high enough that they should not be a problem at levels of 3 and lower, but conditions change daily.  

If anyone knows of the State of CT department that approves these kinds of operations and/or the contractors that got the work for Bulls Bridge, please post a comment.  They need to be made aware of the danger that they are presenting to the boating community, at a designated boat launch, where it is widely known that boaters navigate that waterway on a regular basis.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bulls Bridge was 1 1/2 on painted gauge at 6 pm today


it was raining when I took the photo, so I expect the level to hold or go up.  Check the USGS gauge at this address






Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Bulls Bridge just below 1 1/2 on the painted gauge at 12:30 pm today



Update:  Power plant is back online (seems to be running all turbines) and the painted gauge was a solid 2 when a couple of us put on at 5:45 pm today.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Powerplant Maintenance so.... Bulls Bridge is running below One


All gauge correlations are off because they seem to be working on the power plant.  The canal has moving water, and it looks like they are running at least one turbine, but are not taking as much water as they can.  This little bit of rain has brought the level up almost to 1, and some more rain is expected.  The trick is that, if they turn the power plant back to full capacity, all of the water will be diverted.  Keep an eye on the internet gauge.  If there is a sudden spike then drop, it means that they turned the rest of the turbines back on and are taking more water.  In the mean time, the water is warm, and this is a rare chance to paddle on Bulls Bridge in June.


View from the bridge, looking upstream at Stairway. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Animas River Days

http://www.animasriverdays.org


Look for the new boards by local company Upstream Boards.
They are local, and focus on custom boards.


You never know.  You might have some fun, and you might get a t-shirt.




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bulls Bridge at 1 on paint

At 11:30 am this morning, the level was about 1 inch over the block.
At 3:30 pm this afternoon, the level is just a little bit below the block.
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/uv?site_no=01200500
(images in this post were left large so you can get a closer look at the gauge)






All of the minimum required flow ("Fish Flow") comes from a gate on the side of the canal, just above the head gates.  (See flow at middle-right of picture) Anything that goes over the dam is extra, and starts to make the run more attractive to paddle.  (See flow at top left of picture in main drop of Stairway Rapid)  The painted gauge was worked out so that, during fish flow, the water level would be about 1 unit (not really feet) below the top of the block.  The old schoolers call it "minus one" and the new schoolers call is "zero" or "fish flow".  Either way, the top of the block is 1, and that takes water going over the dam.

The level at 3:30 pm today. Photo taken from middle window in the bridge.

Same gauge, same time (3:30 pm), different view (from river left, by the fence)



Monday, May 18, 2015

Tree in approach to S-Turn rapid (Bulls Bridge on Housatonic in CT)


The view above is from the ledge that makes S-Turn rapid.
A = rock that makes the center staging eddy.
B = the new tree that blocks the left approach.
C = the rock that makes "Otto" Boof (autoboof)

Below is a closeup of the new tree.


And here is a photo of how it looks from the approach.  All photos were taken from the river right side, at minimum/fish flow.