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Window for dredging McKay Creek could be shortened

The flood of McKay Creek at Community Park in Pendleton in April 2019 left sediment. (MYCB photo by Niki Naughton)

PENDLETON, Oregon – Work begins Thursday to dredge lower McKay Creek near the Pendleton Community Park, after months of waiting for permits. Public Works Director Bob Patterson says the impact from last week’s flood could mean the dredging has to be done sooner than expected. The original end date was the end of March.

“The Bureau of Reclamation wants to release water sooner than March 31,” Patterson said. “That puts the impetus and the importance of us getting in there this week to start our project.”

Due to last week’s flood, McKay Reservoir is 63 percent full, which Patterson said is higher than it should be at this time of year. He said crews will work hard, due to the shortened in-water window.

“The more time we can have the better,” Patterson said. “Our crews are going to be working six 10-hour shifts. We’re going to push the gamut. They’ll get one day off. They’re all on board.”

The dredging project is from Quinney Bridge to Struve Bridge.

“From Quinney Bridge down to Community Park there’s a big section in there for removal,” Patterson said. “Then, in Community Park itself we have more of a minor removal. And then you get down to Struve Bridge at Southwest Kirk and you have an area of major deposits that need to be removed.”

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