OROVILLE DAM SPILLWAY: Construction update, latest video

From the Department of Water Resources:

Today the Department of Water Resources (DWR) provided an update on construction work on the Lake Oroville Spillways Emergency Recovery Project. 

Continued Construction on the Main Spillway

  • Construction efforts at the Lake Oroville spillways remain focused on repairing and reconstructing the gated flood control spillway, also known as the main spillway, by November 1.
  • There are 56 days left on the construction timeline to reconstruct the 2,270 feet of main spillway that will be completed this year:
    • Placement of reinforced, structural concrete is 20 percent complete. By November 1 there will be 1,220 feet of spillway chute with structural concrete – 870 feet on the upper chute of the spillway and 350 on the lower chute of the spillway.
    • The 1,050-foot middle section of the spillway chute, including filling in the two scour holes, is now 33 percent complete, with approximately 100,000 cubic yards of roller compacted concrete placed. This middle section will be completed to final design with structural concrete in 2018.
    • Crews have installed more than 5,000 feet of underdrains in the structural concrete sections.
  • The 730 feet of main spillway leading to the radial gates will be patched, reinforced and left in place this year. It will be removed and reconstructed with structural concrete in 2018.

Crews continue the placement of rebar panels for the new side walls on the lower chute of the Lake Oroville flood control spillway in Butte County, California. Photo taken September 5, 2017.
Ken James / California Department of Water Resources, FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Construction at the Emergency Spillway

  • DWR continues to make progress at the emergency spillway, and is still on schedule to complete construction of the secant pile wall, or cut-off wall, in late December 2017 or early January 2018.
  • Crews have completed 15 percent of the secant pile wall.

Other Updates

  • Yesterday, the Independent Forensics Team released an interim memo summarizing its current findings on the physical factors that caused the Lake Oroville spillway failure. A full report that will include human factors is expected later this fall. After reviewing the memo, DWR released a statement reiterating that protecting public safety is the state’s top priority and expressing its commitment to apply lessons learned from the Lake Oroville spillways incident. DWR agrees with the Forensic Team’s conclusions that dam owners need to reassess current procedures as visual inspections would not have caught what happened in February.
  • Last week, DWR released the Assessment of the Vegetation Area on the Face of Oroville Dam, which explains the cause of vegetation that occasionally grows on the face of the dam. Based on five decades of data and observation, the Department has concluded the vegetation area does not pose a threat to the integrity of the dam.
  • The independent Board of Consultants met for the eleventh time with DWR on August 24 and 25.  DWR presented the findings and conclusions of the Assessment of the Vegetation Area on the Face of Oroville Dam to the BOC members, who agreed the cause of the vegetation area does not pose a threat to the integrity of the Oroville Dam. The BOC’s eleventh memo, which will contain this conclusion, will be posted soon after it is transmitted to DWR.

To view photos and video of the Lake Oroville Spillways construction, visit DWR’s Oroville Spillway photo gallery and YouTube channel.

The latest video from DWR …

Roller-compacted concrete continues to fill the erosion area in the middle of the Oroville Spillway. Rock cleaning continues on the upper spillway, anchors are placed, and side walls are framed, with the first structural slab erected on the upper spillway.

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