OROVILLE DAM: DWR Update on Oroville Spillway Repair Activities
From the Department of Water Resources:
The following is an update from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) on construction-related activities on the Oroville Spillway Recovery project. DWR is committed to informing the surrounding communities and the general public about the work being done to repair the damaged spillway and related impacts to roads, recreation, public access and surrounding infrastructure.
The following activities, some already ongoing, are scheduled to begin April 21 through April 28. DWR will provide regular updates on all activities over the coming months as construction ramps up through the summer.
Burma road improvement
- Burma road continues to be widened and armored, and culvert crossings reinforced. It will serve as an alternate construction access to the spillways this summer.
Cherokee road improvement
- Road repairs are being done to a section of Cherokee Road between the power canal and the Burma Road tie-in to provide a safe riding surface for cyclists participating in the annual Chico Wildflower Century, which will take place on Sunday, April 30.
Slope setback with controlled blasting
- As part of regular procedure, DWR will use controlled blasting methods to break up intact rock on the slopes along the damaged gated flood control spillway so that it can be safely excavated. The slopes are near vertical and are up to 150 feet in height. These slopes present a significant safety risk for construction workers.
- The controlled blasting produces little to no audible noise or vibrations. A whistle/air horn will alert workers near the project area prior to each controlled blast.
- Seismographs will be located throughout the project area so engineers can monitor movements and to make sure recorded vibrations are within safe levels.
- The controlled blasting will begin as early as Friday, April 21, and will continue for four to six weeks on approximately an every-other-day schedule, so that workers can start making necessary repairs to the spillway to meet the tight construction schedule.
- DWR obtained required permits for the work from its state and federal regulatory partners, as well as the Butte County Sheriff’s Department.
Gated flood control spillway flow release update
- The damaged gated flood control spillway also known as the main spillway, is currently spilling 35,000 cubic feet of water per second. Based on current hydrologic modeling, the spillway will continue at this flow through the first week in May.
Power line relocation
- The temporary relocation of power lines is underway with work expected to be complete by the end of this week. The power lines are being temporarily relocated to accommodate upcoming repairs to the damaged gated flood control spillway, and later on the emergency spillway. The permanent relocation will begin towards the end of May.
- Geologic exploration continues in the area around the emergency spillway.
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