Reclamation begins dam safety evaluations at Montana’s Clark Canyon Dam

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will conduct an exploratory drilling program at Montana’s Clark Canyon Dam in Montana as part of its ongoing dam safety analysis program, has learned.

Located at the head of the Beaverhead River in the southwestern part of the state, Clark Canyon Dam is an earthfill structure with a height of 147.5 feet, a crest length of 2,950 feet and a volume of almost two million cubic yards of material.

Reclamation’s investigations at the 48-year old structure include the drilling of a series of exploratory holes along the dam’s east abutment which will be used to gather information on the foundation and overlying material. reported in September 2011 that Reclamation and developer Clark Canyon Hydro LLC had received a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop a 4.7 MW hydroelectric project at the dam in 2009, with US$12 million of the project’s anticipated $38 million cost coming from the Infrastructure Coalition Program. The project, however, is still in development.

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