Construction Time-Lapse Shows the Step-by-Step Removal of a Dam

The 38-foot-high Gold Ray Dam had spanned Oregon’s Rogue River for 106 years by the time Jackson County decided enough was enough. A defunct hydroelectric facility that hadn’t been operational since the early 70s, it was one of the last fish barriers still up along the Rogue River. In other words: it had to go.

In the spirit of documenting the experience, the folks at HDRinc decided to employ time-lapse photography to capture the process of methodically tearing down the dam from start to finish.

The video shows how a construction company has to go about removing a huge structure that happens to be holding back a ton of water. It’s not something to be undertaken lightly and, well, there’s always the chance that someone could get hurt if something goes wrong.

Of course, that’s not the only way to go about removing a dam. Although the removal of the Gold Ray Dam did include a failure that had the reservoir empty much faster than they intended, that was an unfortunate accident. The video above shows what happens when “dam removal” translates into “blow a hold in the darn thing.”

It’s up to you to decide which is the better method, but we certainly have our opinion on which one is cooler to watch.

(via Reddit)

  • T. Blanchard

    Just by the way, you spelled dam wrong in the first sentence. You spelled it as the cuss word.

  • DLCade

    Oh wow, sorry about that! It’s been fixed :)

  • tarena1991

    I think we all wish they would just blow it up.

  • Mark Penrice

    That second one sure was impressive, but I can’t think of any way that it would have had a positive downstream environmental effect… or in fact much of one in the basin itself. Look at all the mud and other debris that continues to shift even in the basin as it empties – and think of how much of it, plus the water itself, that’s just been sent roaring down the valley. As well as the sudden removal of habitat from any animals that had taken up residence in the basin.

    The first one is a bit more labour intensive, for a couple of weeks, but seems to have done a much gentler job of lowering the level of the lake and draining the excess water out into the river, before actually knocking over any part of the dam or re-landscaping the area.