On October 31 Rick, Jack, and Risa visited the Columbus site where work on the Alabama side of the Lower Chattahoochee includes both blasting and building. The power of the water in this river is amazing, and challenging for both the design and project construction. The water does not flow like it would in a ‘normal’ river channel: indeed over half of the flow, which can peak at 14,000 cfs once or twice daily, charges into the ‘Cut Bait’ channel that was blasted over a hundred years ago into its current, completely unnaturally configuration.
Before heading to Columbus, we reached out to Sam Ovett who, along with four other skilled paddlers, provided feedback on the current configuration of the Cut Bait channel and high powered hydraulic that will one day provide an unforgettable climax to their day on the river Max Ovett, Matt Heath, Tony Rice and Hunter Katich were up for the task of paddling through or the hole as it approached 10,000 cfs. Hunter just styled it, several times and after starting out with a yard sale, Sam recovered with several controlled rides. Matt held his own. Risa got a beat down, and Rick paddled through smoothly, so we all had an opportunity to develop a personal perspective! Sam recounts the trip on his and Max’s blog and has shared photos that provide a feel for the size of the water. John Anderson will be back this weekend to check in, and the engineers back in Denver are modeling the next round of ‘edits’ as the work continues. Thank you guys, as well as Josh Bruner, for your time and enthusiasm!