If the Oroville Spillway needs to be used this winter, it'll be ready to handle water flow.
California Department of Water Resources officials announced crews met the deadline for repairing and reconstructing the main, gated flood control spillway at Lake Oroville by Nov. 1, 2017 to handle flows of 100,000 cubic-feet per second this winter.
In a conference call update, DWR officials said the last layer of hardened Roller Compacted Concrete [RCC] was placed on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Work on the emergency spillway is scheduled to continue through January 2018.
DWR Director Grant Davis said Nov. 1 is a significant day for the DWR, the state, and the surrounding communities.
However, today is only a milestone and we have much more work to do before the project is complete, and we’re eager to begin phase two," Davis said.
Since May, more than 600 Kiewit workers, many from Butte County and Northern California, put in over 720,000 hours of work, "to help deliver the first phase of this very important project on schedule," according to Jeff Petersen, project manager for Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. (Kiewit).
In a previous story, it was reported the costs to repair the nation's tallest dam would top $500 million, nearly double the original estimate of $275 million, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
The $500 million figure reflects only the work by the main construction contractor, Kiewit Corp., to repair the spillways at the 770-foot Oroville Dam, said Erin Mellon, a spokeswoman for the state water agency. It excludes the costs of other contractors and the emergency response in the immediate aftermath of the spillway failure, which prompted fears of massive flooding. Nearly 200,000 were ordered to evacuate, but disaster was averted.
DWR: The Oroville Spillway is ready to handle winter flows now.— Rob Carlmark (@rcarlmark) November 1, 2017
Last layer of hardened RCC in place today for Oroville Spillway. Work on Emergency Spillway area continues to Jan 2018.— Rob Carlmark (@rcarlmark) November 1, 2017
DWR: Cost for Oroville initial response (emergency) revised down from $274->140-160M. Current construction and repair revised up from $275M->500M (initial estimate made when only 30% of plan was in place).— Rob Carlmark (@rcarlmark) November 1, 2017
FEMA is expected to reimburse cost of Oroville repairs up to 75% Rest is funded by state water contractors.— Rob Carlmark (@rcarlmark) November 1, 2017
Work by crews at Oroville up to 720,000 hrs so far with no significant injuries.— Rob Carlmark (@rcarlmark) November 1, 2017
Incident at Oroville Spillway has prompted review of 93 similar dam/spillway structures in the state with some repairs already underway. (all info coming from call with DWR)— Rob Carlmark (@rcarlmark) November 1, 2017
Crews will be on site working on various projects connected to Phase 2 of Oroville repairs until January 2019. Most work will be done for Phase 2 by September 2018.— Rob Carlmark (@rcarlmark) November 1, 2017