Repaired rod at Rocky Reach Dam holding up well

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Rocky Reach Dam - Wenatchee, WA

Crack was discovered in 2013

Repair work on faulty “servo rods” at Rocky Reach Dam is going well, with one of the four threatened units now operating smoothly, the Chelan County PUD Commission heard Monday.

In 2013, a cracked rod was discovered in one of the 11 units that power the dam. If it had failed the consequences would have been dire, with an oil spill into the Columbia River and the likely shutdown of the dam.

An inspection showed a design flaw in the rod, which was the same kind installed on three other of the dam’s units. All four units were taken down while repairs were made. Work on the first of the units was completed a year ago and has been closely monitored since, with no problems.

Repairs on the other three units will be completed one at a time with each taking about 14 months. The rods are expected to run reliably for the next 30 years.

.“This is a major milestone and accomplishment,” said Kirk Hudson, Generation and Transmission managing director.

In 2014, the PUD created a video showing the magnitude of the problem with the cracked rod.

(Note: This story has been updated to clarify the repair time expected for each of the other three units)

Arseneault named president of board

Also at its meeting Monday, the PUD Board selected Gary Arseneault to serve as president for 2019.

He replaces Dennis Bolz as head of the board.

Arseneault, a retired financial professional, has served on the board since 2015. Steve McKenna will serve as vice president and Ann Congdon as secretary.

They will begin serving in their new roles at the Jan. 7 commission meeting.