Spillway construction starts at California’s 199-MW Folsom Dam

Federal, state, and local officials marked the start of construction Jan. 11 of an auxiliary spillway to increase flood protection at 198.72-MW Folsom Dam on California’s American River.

The auxiliary spillway is being built as a Joint Federal Project by the Bureau of Reclamation, the Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Water Resources, and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. The spillway is to address the hydrologic risk to Folsom Dam identified through BuRec’s Safety of Dams program. It also is to achieve the Corps’ objective to double the flood protection for the city of Sacramento, to a 200-year flood.

In remarks to the ceremony, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the project would protect a million people who live in the Sacramento area from the threat of a devastating flood. Others attending the ceremony included Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and federal and state lawmakers. The governor, who has advocated the construction of new dams for water storage, used the occasion to comment on a need to modernize California’s water infrastructure.

�We must push forward to increase flood protections and modernize our water infrastructure throughout the state,� Schwarzenegger said. (HNN 1/11/08)

The auxiliary spillway will include an approach channel, control structure with six submerged tainter gates, a concrete-lined spillway chute, and a stilling basin to dissipate energy before water is discharged into the American River. Kiewit Pacific Co. of Concord, Calif., is construction contractor. (HNN 10/3/07)

In addition to the spillway, BuRec is to complete dam safety work at Folsom on Dikes 4, 5, and 6, and Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam.

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