BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The city is working to remove sand, debris and vegetation from part of the Kern River before a high snowpack is expected to bring a lot of water through the channel later this year.
Staff with the city’s Water Resources Department started work on Wednesday to clear out the Kern River channel 1,000 feet upstream and 1,000 feet downstream from the Bellvue Weir, located just north of the Park at River Walk, 11298 Stockdale Hwy.
The city said the project needs to be completed as soon as possible due to high snowpack in the Kern River Basin. Three consecutive wet years have contributed to a buildup of excess sand and debris in the area.
With a strong snowpack and more storms expected in the near future, the city says any runoff will bring more sand and debris, which could damage highway bridges and weir structures that cross the Kern River channel.
“The Bellevue area already has excess sand, debris and vegetation that needs to be removed or the Bellevue Weir may not function as it was designed when more water is delivered,” the city said.
Weirs are used to control the flow rates of rivers during periods of high volume.
The project is expected to be completed in three weeks, according to the city.