Oroville Dam2022-04-22T07:45:16-08:00

Oroville Dam

One year after the Oroville Dam’s concrete spillway ruptured on Feb. 7, 2017, crews working day and night have made the most critical repairs to what has become an $870 million project. Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Neb., fixed the dam’s main spillway and an emergency spillway that also was damaged by unprecedented water releases forced by record rainfall in Northern California.

The work has continued in 2018, while the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and Washington, D.C., discuss the extent to which the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay for repairs. Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that codified the annual inspections DWR already conducts of the vast majority of the 1,249 dams the department oversees. The law requires “low hazard potential” dams be evaluated at least every other year.

DWR doesn’t expect to use Oroville Dam spillway anytime soon — but it’s preparing if necessary

Chico Enterprise-Record » The state Department of Water Resources does not expect to need to operate the Oroville Dam spillway anytime soon but is preparing in the event that it is necessary. Lake Oroville, currently at 773-foot elevation, could rise to 780-785 feet by the end of the month based on current projections.

February 22nd, 2019|

A Race to the Finish on Oroville Dam Spillway Fix

Engineering News Record » Seemingly chaotic but actually highly choreographed and sequenced, the $1.1-billion Lake Oroville Spillways Emergency Recovery Project moves at an ultra-fast-track pace for one important reason: to repair the structures in time to protect cities, farmland and hundreds of thousands of people downstream of Oroville Dam before Northern California’s rainy season begins in November.

October 3rd, 2018|

Bill to allow citizen oversight of Oroville Dam signed into law

KRCR-TV » A bill that will allow citizen oversight of the Oroville Dam, and the public safety issues that come along with it, was signed into law this week by Governor Jerry Brown. Governor Brown signed into law Senator Jim Nielsen’s legislation to create the Citizens Advisory Commission for Oroville Dam. The measure empowers residents to be involved in public safety issues relating to the dam.

September 19th, 2018|

Lawmaker voices concerns over Oroville cost overruns

Western Farm Press » The California congressman whose district includes the area round the Oroville Dam is voicing concerns that the cost of a dam reconstruction project now in its second year is now projected at $1.1 billion.

September 19th, 2018|

Temporary wall collapses on Oroville Dam spillway

Chico Enterprise-Record » A 30-foot-wide section of temporary wall on the upper chute of the Oroville Dam spillway fell over late last week, the state Department of Water Resources confirmed on Monday. The collapse did not impact construction deadlines and resulted in no injuries, according to the department.

August 27th, 2018|

VIDEO: Oroville Dam’s Yearlong Progress

Construction Equipment » The California Department of Water Resources released a video showing before-and-after footage of construction on the Oroville Dam between July 2017 and 2018. The video offers a fly over of the wreckage, showing the dam’s giant canyons in 2017 juxtaposed with today’s smoothed-over layer of structural concrete.

August 21st, 2018|

As storms worsen, America’s aging dams overflow

CBS News » The average age of the 90,580 dams located across the U.S is 56 years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. ASCE says that in just 10 years, the number of at-risk dams has grown from 10 percent to 17 percent. One reason: Many are earthen dams, and the aging and crumbling structures are barely holding back nearby lakes and rivers.

August 7th, 2018|

Oroville Dam independent review board releases first report

Chico Enterprise-Record » An independent review board hired by the state Department of Water Resources Oroville Dam has released its first report with an eye toward improving the facility’s future operations.  Among the suggestions: a second gated spillway, improved monitoring, and clear operational planning that takes into account the impact of climate change on the dam’s functions.  (The webpage includes an embedded copy of the independent report.)

August 1st, 2018|

DWR expands on response to spillway forensic report

Chico Enterprise-Record » The state Department of Water Resources has beefed up its response to the independent forensic report on what caused the Oroville Dam spillway failure last year. A revised dam safety policy, which will “further define roles and responsibilities” of the executive-level engineer, the chief dam safety engineer and other related State Water Project divisions, should be released by the end of the year.

June 14th, 2018|

Oroville Dam: FEMA still deciding whether to reimburse DWR for major repairs

Chico Enterprise-Record » The agency has provided the department with about $139 million for emergency restoration work, including debris removal. FEMA is currently considering DWR’s request of $500 million to repair the main spillway and $75 million to repair the emergency spillway. The department is also seeking reimbursement for damages to Hyatt Powerplant, transmission lines and the Feather River Fish Hatchery.

May 7th, 2018|
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