The Western Colorado office of the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) has awarded a construction contract worth US$5M to Kissner G.C. of Cedaredge, Colorado to carry out the project.

Initial work is to start later this month, with major construction of the fish screen scheduled for the beginning of November. USBR anticipates much of the work to be done by April 2005 to allow spring canal use, while the whole project is to be completed by late July.

The power canal is situated below the Redlands diversion dam on the Gunnison river and generates electricity all year. The schedule has been devised to avoid disruption to the irrigation season from 15 April to 15 October.

It is hoped that the work will stop fish from entering the canal system and lead to the recovery of the Colorado pike minnow and razorback sucker, both of which are endangered species.