Dam Safety & Security

Corps foresees multiple contracts for Missouri River flood repairs

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers anticipates tendering for a large volume of contracts to repair damage from 2011 flooding in the Missouri River Basin, including work affecting six major Corps hydroelectric projects.

The Corps’ Omaha District says the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2011 allocated about $500 million to the Corps for flood repairs in the Missouri Basin. From May to September 2011, the Missouri River and several tributaries in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota experienced record flooding.

The Corps says funding was divided into two appropriations – one for operation and maintenance for repairs to dams and reservoirs, and the other for flood control and coastal emergency for repairs to levees and drainage structures.

The agency says repairs to tributary levees, dams and reservoirs are necessary and might include levee construction and resurfacing, interior drainage structures, seepage berms, riverside restoration and scour repair, setbacks, relief wells, spillway and tunnel outlet repairs, foundation drains, gate repairs, bank stabilization, road repairs and cultural resources protection.

The Corps said affected dams include 185.3-MW Fort Peck in Montana; 132.3-MW Gavins Point in Nebraska; 517.8-MW Garrison in North Dakota; and 320-MW Fort Randall, 494-MW Big Bend, and 786-MW Oahe in South Dakota.

Saskatchewan budget commits millions to dam rehabilitation

The Saskatchewan government has bolstered its commitment to dam safety with an allocation of about C$6.6 million (US$6.7 million) in the province’s 2012-13 budget.

That money – up C$2.56 million (US$2.6 million) from the previous year – will allow the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority to enhance its dam safety program by rehabilitating a number of dams, including Moose Mountain Dam, Gardiner Dam, Alameda Dam and the Lumsden Flood Control Project.

The rehabilitation work is part of Saskatchewan’s 10-year management infrastructure renewal plan, says SWA minister Dustin Duncan.

“This new investment is an important step in delivering on that commitment,” Duncan says.

The 2012-13 budget also includes C$2.07 million (US$2.1 million) for Saskatchewan’s dam safety program, which will help fund emergency preparedness plans for Rafferty, Alameda and Gardner dams.

Black & Veatch selected for urgent dam retrofitting

Black & Veatch has been selected by the Santa Clara Valley Water District for an urgent seismic retrofit program at Anderson Dam.

The $150 million project will allow the water district to again use Anderson Dam for maximum water supply storage when work is completed in 2018. The reservoir currently operates at 69% capacity.

Black & Veatch says the project was prompted by a 2011 seismic stability evaluation that caused the water district to implement self-imposed restrictions on the dam.

The evaluation revealed the dam would be subject to significant damage if a large earthquake were to occur nearby.

As program manager, Black & Veatch is responsible for coordinating a team of subcontractors to oversee the project’s planning, permitting, design, construction and improvements.

The company says the seismic strengthening will most likely consist of partially removing liquefiable materials and buttressing the dam. The project will also verify the adequacy of the spillway, outlet works and existing surveillance systems.

Corps to perform geotechnical work at Wolf Creek, Center Hill

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is examining proposals for geotechnical engineering services in its Nashville District, primarily at 270-MW Wolf Creek Dam in Kentucky and 135-MW Center Hill Dam in Tennessee. The Corps awarded dam safety contracts in 2011 for a grout curtain at Wolf Creek and a seepage barrier at Center Hill. A 2008 assessment of equipment at nine Corps hydropower plants on the Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky, including Wolf Creek and Center Hill, found a need for up to US$470 million in repairs.

The Corps’ Nashville District is looking at proposals for indefinite delivery geotechnical engineering contracts to be awarded to two large businesses and to one small business.

The three contracts will run for five years with a maximum of US$5 million per contract. The contractors are to work within the Corps’ Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, primarily at Wolf Creek and Center Hill.

Reclamation planning dam safety work at 3.65-MW Stampede Dam

The Bureau of Reclamation is examining information on small businesses capable of performing dam safety civil work at 3.65-MW Stampede Dam on California’s Little Truckee River.

Reclamation issued a draft environmental assessment in December 2011 endorsing a plan to modify Stampede Dam to prevent its failure during extreme floods by increasing the height of the 239-foot-tall zoned earthfill dam by 11.5 feet.

The agency performed risk analyses finding the dam cannot safely pass floodwaters in accordance with Reclamation’s public protection guidelines.

Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region is working with small businesses that are interested and capable of performing dam safety modifications. Responses to previous inquiries about the work at Stampede Dam will help the agency determine whether to set aside the solicitation for small businesses or to proceed with an unrestricted solicitation.

Work is to include removing existing concrete features; constructing a new spillway crest structure of cast-in-place concrete; excavating the existing dam and dikes embankment; installing dam and dike, filter, and gravel drain materials to increase height of dam and dikes; modifying and installing new dam instrumentation; constructing saddle dikes; and constructing a mechanically stabilized earth crest structure. The work is valued at $10 million to $25 million.

New York unveils dam repair and improvement program

An initiative announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will allocate millions of dollars for dam repair and improvement.

The “NY Works” program is a multi-billion dollar program that seeks to stimulate the state’s economy and create jobs largely through work on the state’s infrastructure projects.

Included in the NY Works program are 125 dam restoration and repair projects, which, according to reports provided by the governor’s office, represent an investment of more than $200 million.

“The centerpiece of this (state) budget is the NY Works program, which will help rebuild our aging infrastructure, including our dams and flood control systems, to protect people and property throughout our state,” Cuomo says.

A study shows 91 of 106 flood control projects maintained by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation have been rated as “minimally acceptable” or “unacceptable” by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, at least 24 of New York’s 577 DEC-owned dams have been classified as “high” and “intermediate” hazard structures, meaning failure would pose “serious threat” to human life or significant property damage.

NY Works funds have designated $102 million for dam infrastructure work, with more than $100 million being leveraged in matching funds. NY Works’ $102 million includes $18.5 million to repair state-owned dams, $56 million to perform maintenance of flood control facilities such as levees, and $27 million to implement coastal erosion and inlet navigation maintenance projects.

Projects specifically listed by NY Works as receiving “critical dam repairs” include the following dams: Alder Lake, Avon Marsh, Balsam Swamp, Hatchery, Harwood Lake, Howard Jeffrey, Jackson Pond, Lens Lake, Long Pond, Nanticoke Creek Site 3, Onondaga, Papish Pond, Stewart’s Landing, Waneta, White Pond and Warner.

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