TORRINGTON — The Goshen Irrigation District announced Monday afternoon that contractors from SAK Construction and GID employees “have succeeded repairing and fixing the collapsed tunnel.”
Manager Rob Posten declared tunnel crews have seen the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
The tunnel collapsed on July 17. Dirt from the collapse caused water to back up and eventually breach the canal. There has been no water in the canal since the collapse.
According to the release, SAK construction completed the excavation of the tunnel and finished removing dirt from inside the tunnel.
“The wall supports and tunnel ceilings have been stabilized to a point of 700 feet within the tunnel,” the update said. “After the collapsed hole was repaired, grouted and the sinkhole dirt was cleared, the remaining length of the tunnel was debris free and infrastructure remains stable and intact.”
SAK contractors and irrigation district employees have been working around the clock on the repairs since July 19.
“Everyone on this project has gone above and beyond to get us to this point,” Posten said. “From our irrigation district employees to the excavation and tunnel crews, everyone has put in beyond 100 percent to get our landowners water this year.”
The exact date and hour the water will come back on hasn’t yet been determined, but it could come as early as the end of this week, the update said.
“Contractors and irrigation district managers are hopeful to resume water service in the Fort Laramie Canal for water deliveries by the end of this week,” the update said. “Final dirt extraction, equipment removal and site cleanup is commencing to clear and make way for water deliveries in the tunnel. The water will be turned on slowly to ensure tunnel stability and to test and monitor the tunnel as water is released. Farmers and landowners are asked for their patience as the water will be released slower than typical, until the canal capacity has been reached. Delivery rates and quantities will be announced once the flows, stability and holding rate of the canal is determined.
“The official time and days of water release and expected deliveries will be announced once determined.”