A view of the surface foundation prepared for the placement of the roller-compacted concrete (RCC) splashpad, just below the new Lake Oroville emergency spillway extension in Butte County, California. Photo taken on February 12, 2018.  Kelly M. Grow/DWR

From the Department of Water Resources:

Construction at the Emergency Spillway

  • The underground secant pile wall is 95 percent complete and is targeted for completion in March of 2018. The secant pile wall is being constructed 730 feet downhill of the emergency spillway at depths of 35 to 65 feet.
  • Foundation preparation continues for the roller-compacted concrete (RCC) splashpad. Crews are expected to begin placing RCC next week. The RCC splashpad, in conjunction with the secant pile wall, will armor the existing terrain to significantly reduce the type of uphill erosion that occurred during February 2017 if the emergency spillway is ever used again.
  • Work at the emergency spillway also include construction of an RCC buttress at the base of the emergency spillway, which will begin later in 2018.

Construction on the Main Spillway

Phase Two of construction on the main spillway is expected to begin in May, but exact timing depends on weather. This year’s work includes:

  • Removal of the original 730 feet of the upper chute leading to the radial gates and replacement with steel-reinforced structural concrete.
  • Placement of a 2.5-foot layer of steel-reinforced structural concrete over the RCC middle chute.
  • Removal of the RCC walls in the middle chute and replacement with structural concrete walls.
  • Hydro-blasting and resurfacing of the energy dissipaters at the base of the main spillway.

Oversight Update


  • DWR will meet with the Independent Board of Consultants (BOC) for the 15th time tomorrow and Friday, Feb. 22 and 23. The BOC is also reviewing the Independent Forensic Team’s final report released last month.


The latest video from the Department of Water Resources …

The crew pours concrete for the top section of the cut-off-wall that will connect to the splashpad. A section of ground near the lower spillway is removed for a new road. Work continues between the emergency spillway weir and cut-off-wall, prepping the ground for the splashpad.


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