Please see the April 9 article by Perry Backus about Como Dam safety.
The Siphon I Phase III project is nearly completed. Crews have worked through near record low temperatures and snowfall levels that we haven’t seen for 20 years. The new new bridge structure over the Bitterroot River is in place and nearly all of the new pipeline has been set. If you haven’t been past the construction site, now is the time to check it out – work should be finished before the month of January is over. We are hopeful that all of this snow will translate to an abundant 2017 irrigation season. The lawsuit filed against BRID is ongoing. Your cost, unfortunately, is just under $80,000 at this point. Attorneys for each side will file briefs in Judge Haynes’ court on Tuesday, January 17. Those documents will be public and might shed some light on the situation for those who don’t understand the complex litigation. Happy New Year to all!
The Siphon I, Phase III project is well underway – much of the pipe has been replaced and crews are preparing to install the new bridge structure that spans the Bitterroot River. The project is on schedule and should be complete by January, 2017. Our new fiscal year begins November 1. The lawsuit contesting the ownership of the Three Mile Gravity system continues. Your cost in that matter now exceeds $70,000. We hope to reach a conclusion soon. As always, feel free to call the office with any questions or concerns or just to chat. We are here from 8 am – 5 pm M-Th.
The water will be shut down on September 5th or 6th this season. This has been a fairly average season in terms of length. We shut down on August 28 last year. Our ditch riders and crew have done an excellent job keeping a steady flow to irrigators this season without any major issues.
Soon after the ditch runs dry, construction on the Siphon I, Phase III project will begin; in or around the middle of this month. We are eager to see this project come to fruition.
Unfortunate update: the Three Mile lawsuit filed against us last fall has now cost our users $57,337.38 as of September 1, 2016.
It’s been a good, steady irrigation season so far this year. Our Annual meeting took place on June 14. This year, we hosted a BBQ for water users before the annual presentation by Manager Crowley. We estimate that around 100 or so people were here and it looked like everyone enjoyed themselves. To date, the Three Mile lawsuit has cost our users over $35,000 and climbing, with a six-figure total cost projected before it’s over. This is very unfortunate, as your money would be much better spent on infrastructure maintenance and repair.
Siphon I, Phase III (replacement of the pipe and bridge structure over the Bitterroot River near Darby) bid packages came in under budget. That project is slated to start soon after irrigation season ends this summer and will hopefully be completed before the first of the year (2017).
April 20, 2016
The crew started the water from Lake Como around midnight, 4/18. Like brown, debris-filled lava, the flow has steadily snaked its way down the Big Ditch, reaching the Coyote structure on the afternoon of 4/19 and arriving at the Burnt Fork structure early this morning. John and the crew were out most of the night and today, capturing and removing branches, leaves, sticks and trash from the water so as not to clog structures along the way.
Spring has sprung and the BRID crew is preparing for the upcoming irrigation season. We hope to start irrigation flow in late April or early May. Please make sure that your ditches are clean and ready for irrigation flow. Sprinkler users: we recommend 5/32” nozzle and one sprinkler head per irrigated acre. Replace nozzle heads as needed for proper irrigation. Make water orders to the BRID office a day in advance.
The District would like to thank our water users for voting overwhelmingly in favor of the District’s Siphon I, Phase III project bond. The early phases of this project are well underway. 900 feet of 105-year-old pipe and the supporting bridge structure spanning the Bitterroot River will be replaced. Phase III also involves replacing pipeline that runs underneath Highway 93 and adjacent railroad tracks. Currently, designs are being finalized and two bid packages are being prepared by Morrison-Maierle Inc, a local engineering firm. One bid package will be for the procurement of materials; the second for installation and construction. Staging will take place over the summer and major construction will begin in early to mid-September of this year, once the water has stopped flowing.
The District annual meeting will be held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, June 14th. The public meeting will be held at the district office at 1182 Lazy J Lane and we encourage water users to attend. Manager John Crowley will show a Power Point presentation, updating the public on projects and conditions up and down the big ditch and welcomes questions from those in attendance. Our website is a great resource for history of the canal, current news, ditch rider information, District policies, announcements and links to other irrigation information.