Hedge Diversion Dam Replacement
Award: 2011 Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Montana (ACEC), Water Resources Category
The Hedge Diversion Dam, which supplies water to the entire Hedge Canal System, serving 778 irrigators and over 6,000 acres of land, had a design life of approximately 50 to 75 years. Thus, at 100+ years, this dam was significantly past its life expectancy. Failure of any major system component would likely have resulted in a total loss of irrigation water as well as physical and environmental damage to the river system, wetlands, and adjacent highway. To avert such a disaster, a project was initiated in 2007 to replace the outdated Hedge Diversion Dam and intake structure with a modern structure.
In addition to addressing structural issues, the new design also provides a recreational passage for river users and includes plans to incorporate a fish screen to protect the endangered species bull trout in the Bitterroot River. To facilitate this project, Morrison-Maierle’s team worked closely with the Daly Ditches Irrigation District to identify and quantify needs, pursue and administer grants, obtain permits, complete the engineering design, and administer construction of the new facilities.
The new natural-appearing grouted boulder diversion enables the Daly Ditches Irrigation District to efficiently operate well into the future.