Crews working to install irrigation pipeline in a partially collapsed tunnel under Cory Bench ran into unexpected problems last week.
A shackle and cable assembly attached to the four-foot-diameter pipeline which enabled equipment to pull it through the tunnel bore failed during operations last Wednesday.
The mishap left the project 300 to 400 feet short of completing the pipeline installation. More serious, the critical shackle and cable equipment was left buried 80 to 100 feet beneath the surface of Cory Bench with no way to access it through the collapsed tunnel bore.
The immediate solution was to begin a massive, round-the-clock earth moving project to excavate the buried equipment, open a section of the collapsed tunnel from above, and complete the installation.
On Friday evening, heavy equipment began arriving in the small neighborhood atop the west end of Cory Bench. Workers began earth moving work in a small area using a track hoe and two D8 Cats.
Before last week's mishap, the pipeline work had succeeded installing pipeline through the 1,450-foot-long tunnel under four homes atop the bench, sparing property owners from having excavation work taking place on their home grounds.
The 174 members of the private North Delta Irrigation Company have been hoping the pipeline work would be completed by the first of June and begin delivering irrigation water from the Gunnison River. The pipeline project will be able to carry the company's 49.6 cfs.
According to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the pipeline installation work was approved for up to $1.6 million in grant/loan funding before the earth work began last week.blog comments powered by Disqus