Access across the top of Boysen Dam will be temporarily interrupted as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation prepares for and performs testing of spillway gates during the week of August 21, according to a news release from Bureau's Wyoming area office.

Early Aug. 20, a crew will set up a large crane on Boysen Dam.

From Aug. 21-25, the crane will place and remove stoplogs in front of the spillway gates to test the gates.

Work crews will limit access across the top of the dam while the crane is being set up and stop logs are being moved.

There will be times from a half-hour to one hour when no traffic will be able to pass in either direction.

Normal access will be restored by the end of the week.

The placement of stoplogs allows the 25-foot tall by 30-foot-wide spillway gates to be operated through full travel motion without large releases of water.

The full travel test is a routine operation and the Bureau performs maintenance every six years to ensure its ability to fully open and close the spillway gates.

The gates are normally tested annually and are moved to a 10% opening.

Located on the Wind River near Shoshoni, the dam provides irrigation, hydropower, flood control, municipal, industrial, and fish and wildlife benefits. Near Thermopolis, the name of the river changes from Wind River to Bighorn River.

According to the Bureau of Reclamation, the dam is an earthfill structure with a structural height of 220 feet and the reservoir has a storage capacity of 802,000 acre-feet of water.

Discharge through the spillway is 25,000 cubic feet per second at elevation.

The power plant has an installed capacity of 15,000 kilowatts developed by two units, each of which is served by a 10-foot-diameter steel penstock.

The construction in the 1940s required the relocation of 13.5 miles of the railroad track through a 1.25-mile-long tunnel, seven bridges, two sidings, and other construction features.

More than 60,000 acres of farmland in Wyoming receive their irrigation supply downstream from the dam.

The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power.

Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits.  Visit Reclamation's website and follow us on Twitter.

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