The ramp at Idaho Power’s largest campground in Hells Canyon will be closed for most of the next three weeks while a contractor stages construction equipment. The closure will precede installation of boat barriers above and below Brownlee Dam.
CAMBRIDGE, Idaho — The boat launch at Idaho Power’s Woodhead Park in Hells Canyon will be closed for much of the next three weeks.
All other developed boat ramps that provide access to Brownlee Reservoir are available for use, including Spring Recreation site, Steck Park, Hewitt and Holcomb parks, Farewell Bend and Moonshine Mine.
The Woodhead Park ramp, including the parking area, will be closed from Nov. 25—Dec. 14.
Access to the old ramp, just to the south of the main ramp, will be open Nov. 28—Dec. 1, and Dec. 8. Parking will be limited during these dates.
The closure is necessary because the area is being used by a contractor preparing to install boat barriers above and below Brownlee Dam later this winter. These barriers will prevent boats from getting within 600 feet of the dam on the upstream side and within 1,000 feet on the downstream side.
Idaho Power operates the dam and power plant to generate electricity. The dam also serves a key role in spring flood control operations overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Brownlee project is considered critical electrical infrastructure.
The company is required to meet security standards established by the federal government to protect critical electrical infrastructure against potential attacks. One part of meeting these requirements is controlling water access near the dam and power plant. After evaluating many options and consulting with other hydropower facilities, Idaho Power determined that floating barriers are the best solution.
These security improvements protect electrical infrastructure critical to both the regional energy grid and to Idaho Power’s customers in Idaho and Oregon. We understand the impact this has on the boating public. Idaho Power remains committed to providing recreational access to the Snake River throughout our service area and providing reliable, affordable, clean energy.
Construction of anchor points will begin in December. Final installation will be completed later this year or in early 2020, depending on weather. The barriers will not impact streambank access to the river.
About Idaho Power
Idaho Power, headquartered in vibrant and fast-growing Boise, Idaho, has been a locally operated energy company since 1916. Today, it serves a 24,000-square-mile area in Idaho and Oregon. The company’s goal to provide 100% clean energy by 2045 builds on its long history as a clean-energy leader that provides reliable service at affordable prices. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects at the core of its diverse energy mix, Idaho Power’s residential, business and agricultural customers pay among the nation’s lowest prices for electricity. Its 2,000 employees proudly serve more than 560,000 customers with a culture of safety first, integrity always and respect for all.