Chattahoochee River whitewater rafting course: Target date for first dam breach is March 21

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 14, 2012 

The target date for a local whitewater rafting course's first dam breach is Wednesday, March 21, from 2 to 4 p.m., Uptown Columbus President Richard Bishop said during a news conference today.

The blast will be on the Phenix City side of the river and the target time is 3 p.m. Bishop said observers can gather in Woodruff Park behind the Columbus State University theater building, but the 13th Street river bridge and roads close to the blasting area will be closed, and those closures will be strictly enforced for public safety.

Construction workers have been working in the river for the past six months, preparing to breach the Eagle & Phenix Dam to make way for a free-flowing river into downtown Columbus. Today's news conference was held at the powerhouse connected to the dam.

In recent weeks organizers and government officials have said parts of the dam, which has stood since the late 1860s, could be removed before the end of the month. For the past two weeks, workers have been preparing the dam blasting.

The explosive company will have to apply for a city blasting permit from the Columbus Fire & EMS department prior to any blasting. No such permit, which has to be obtained at least 24 hours prior to blasting, has been requested, according to fire officials.

The Eagle & Phenix Dam and the City Mills Dam will both be breached to make way for the project, which is expected to be completed in late 2013.

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