To play catch up, you can read the past progress reports here.
Last week I started working again for the first time in over 2 months. It has the potential of turning into a full time job, something I haven’t had in nearly three years. I’ve always put more emphasis on time rather than money, but I guess it will be nice to get that first check soon. I’ve been buggy to get over to the Blackberry Creek Dam Removal site all week to see if any work was getting done. With the extra hour of daylight we gained this week, I finally got there today.
It looks like the beginning of spring is going to start out normal, which means a slow warm up and rain, or some snow yet. The near foot of snow we got in Yorkville has all started melting away and the rain is doing it’s part in helping that along. Though the top layer of dirt, now mud, is thawed, just under the surface it’s frozen solid. Which means the water has nowhere to go but down stream, carrying all that topsoil with it.
A cruise on Sunday showed the farm fields around me turning into shallow ponds. The amount of waterfowl taking advantage of that was amazing. All the ditches, gullies and ravines were full and flowing fast, all toward the creeks and Fox River. The river and a few creeks are all responding accordingly, coming up fast and taking on the color of coffee with a bit of cream.
I usually don’t go walking around the site during the week and I started like usual at the park on the north side. Sure enough, the coffer dam had been breached and the water was flowing quickly around it and down into the area that was getting dredged. I wasn’t dressed for wandering around in ankle deep mud so I headed for the bridge.
The dredged out section was completely filled with water and behaving like a creek again.
I went through my collection and found a couple of photos I took in February of 2012. They show a nice before and after effect.
That’s a lot of water coming through the old dam now. On the other side, the old bridge pylon that has been slowly crumbling took a beating. This is what it looked like a year ago.
It will be interesting to see what happens next. There’s not much left holding up the bridge. This came down since Saturday, the last time I visited here. The water is taking it’s toll.
Before they started dredging behind the dam, the sediment had come within a foot of the top of the dam. Now the water is a good eight feet deep. The weak spots in the dam have made themselves apparent. Water is coming through the face of the dam. The weight of sediment tends to go straight down. The weight of the water is pushing against the dam. It will be interesting to see if the dam can handle it or if the water will knock it over.
There’s a lot of water rushing out of the culvert now. I have a feeling that’s what sped up the collapse of the bridge pylon. You can see how the water is boiling up in that area.
It was a smart move to take the excavator out of the middle of the creek last week. It would be interesting fish structure right now if they hadn’t.
Luckily there’s not much rain in the forecast for the next 10 days. Maybe the bridge won’t collapse and the dam won’t fall over. But you never know. There’s still a lot of water coming down the creek. No matter how much man tries to control water, to move it around, hold it back, one thing is certain…
Water always wins.