As a civil engineer with heavy construction experience, I took interest in the Capitol Lake debate shortly after moving here in 2004. Ultimately, I had opportunity to review the CLAMP studies and confer with public officials and others.
And it became clear to me that what had originally started as an objective comparison of two alternatives, removing the dam or saving Capitol Lake, had over time somehow become directed at favoring a single outcome; removing the dam. The net result was a less than objective comparison that failed to address all issues, misstated costs and benefits and was not at all suitable for basing decisions that involve such major expenditures and consequences.
Since then officials have failed to do anything much and silt still comes down the Deschutes passing through the dam to damage downstream facilities.
Now I believe an independent and experienced agency is needed to lead the remediation effort. I recommend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as the agency most experienced with dredging and heavy construction nationwide, be selected to do this. They can get the urgently needed interim dredging effort underway quicker than anyone else and then turn their attention to completing a truly objective assessment.
Since so much time has passed with no action, now more than ever before, time is of the essence. As the wise man once said, “Not deciding is deciding.” We can’t “not decide” any longer.