Debris cleanup to temporarily close access upstream of Mill Creek Dam

Published June 15, 2011

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Work to clear debris from the forebay of the Mill Creek Dam will begin early next week, requiring temporary access closures to land areas surrounding the work zone, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials announced today.

Access to recreation areas and the Mill Creek Trail will not be affected by the work activity.  However, the entire area immediately upstream of the dam will be closed to the public. This includes the north shore levee upstream of the dam, the contractor’s staging area at the east end of the levee and a narrow strip of land along the south shore of the forebay area will be temporarily closed to ensure visitor safety while work occurs.

The work, awarded under Corps contract to Harry Johnson Plumbing and Excavation Inc. of Walla Walla, Wash., will involve removal of vegetation, debris and sediment from within the dam forebay for maintenance purposes. Other work activities will include constructing access and a working zone, repairing crib and cable barrier, and rehabilitating the site. Work may include installation of a temporary road to allow for excavation equipment access to the areas. An estimated 3,000-5,000 cubic yards of sediment will be removed from the forebay area. Work is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Visitors should be aware of construction vehicles and trucks entering and exiting the work site near the entrance to Rooks Park. This additional traffic will continue throughout the work period.

Routine forebay maintenance is necessary to prevent large accumulations of debris from being carried downstream during high flows, creating a higher risk of flooding due to a debris blockage at bridges within the confined concrete channel running downstream through the City of Walla Walla, said Carolyn Foote, project manager for the forebay cleanup work. 

A graphic-map of the construction area is available online at

For more information about this project or for general information about Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake, call the Mill Creek office at 509-527-7160.



Public Affairs

Release no. 11-109