January 2019

Save the Thorofare Project update

Since our last update in mid October there has been a lot going for the Thorofare "rescue" but it has been the type of stuff that is mostly done at a desk and not tromping around with a shovel and tape measure. I am going to try to give a picture of processes and procedures. Realize please that I am not a tech writer! We just want to let you know that there is a lot going on of which can’t be photographed.

Speaking of picture taking, this update will give you a view of the the Thorofare approach that is rarely seen. With the kind volunteering by Ken Hagman, aka "Mr. Copper Bay Construction" we commandeered him and his boat this week to do a visual survey of what the Thorofare approach channel looks like at low water in the winter when most of the breakwater construction would take place. This update will give you a link so that you can take a look at the drone videos and pictures. (Drone pilot was Pecky Cox)

CLICK HERE for images.

Phase 2 of the Thorofare Project started last September. Its task name was "PRELIMINARY Engineering Design" and it ended this January. This work centered on contracting the design engineers, holding steering committee meetings, public meetings & drafting various cost estimates.

Most people have a difficult time realizing what a huge undertaking it is to remove the old breakwater and replace it. It is tons of old wood. There are scores of pilings sunk 20 feet into the lakebed. It has to be removed and replaced. It takes big equipment to do that. Then you have to put it somewhere so trucks can load it and take it away and get rid of it. Where to haul it? To truck to Dickensheet Waste costs thousands in waste fees and the trucking fees. This is all part of the planning process.

The preliminary plan has several such challenges. For example, for getting construction permits from the appropriate agencies (ie. Idaho Dept. of Lands) there are requests and requirements regarding the new breakwater. Not for sure as yet but the replacement breakwater is likely to be a natural looking rock barrier. Sounds simple - It is not!.

There are requests/requirements on the type of rock, as well as asking that local materials are used, and then those materials have to be approved. The search is on for nearby acceptable rock. Without that, the cost of hauling non-local rock is in the many thousands of additional dollars. This is just a couple of the preliminary challenges that must be resolved in the planning.

As all of this comes together, another busy item right now is evaluating all the designs, cost estimates, geotechnical, the logistics and hydraulics so the proper permits can be sought for all entities that require permits. Among them, ID. Dept. of Lands, ID Dept. of Water Resources, Army Corps of Engineers, Fish & Game, ad-infinitum. This is ALL going on at this time.

As the Priest Lake Water Mgmt. Project Phase 2 closes, here is a link you can click on and see the complete detail for the last couple years. You will see all of the public meetings, steering committees meeting and every one of those meetings had local Priest Lake representatives at the table.

If you wish to see a picture of a likely type of Breakwater go the link below and look at Page 47. While there, cruise around for LOTS of info. You can see alternatives.


Thank you for your support and your interest in salvaging a century old natural resource treasure.

Your Breakwater Committee,

Ken Hagman, Randy Ramey, Eric Anderson, Bob Davis, Kim Impecoven, Tyler Wilson, Craig Hill, Fred Cox.