Access to two campgrounds and a popular reservoir east of Eugene will be closed for 5 years while Eugene Water and Electric rebuilds its primary powerhouse. The closures are effective Monday [March 27th].
Carmen powerhouse generates about 50 percent of EWEB’s electricity, or about 12 percent of Eugene’s power.
Mike McCann is Electric Operations and Generation Manager with EWEB. He says the powerhouse was built in the 1960s and is in dire need of a rebuild.
McCann: “Unfortunately, when they built the project, the only way that they left for access to Trail Bridge Campground and Smith Reservoir is directly over and past the powerhouse. So we can’t actually work on the powerhouse and have the public drive past it at the same time. We’ve looked at alternatives and there really aren’t any good alternatives.”
Lakes End campground will also be closed during the project. McCann says the closure will not affect access to the McKenzie River Trail or the popular Blue Pool. He says EWEB will also make improvements to the recreation sites during the closures.