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New Folsom Dam Spillway Still Under Construction After 9 Years
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We’ve been wondering how long it will take to construct a permanent solution to the mangled main spillway at the Oroville reservoir. A good analog might be the 3,000 foot auxiliary spillway currently being constructed at the nearby Folsom dam. The new spillway is the massive slash from upper right to lower left:

From the Roseville Press Telegram on February 5, 2017, two days before everything went to hell at Oroville:

The Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway project is in its last phase and on schedule to finish by October, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District.

The $900 million structure, which runs parallel to Folsom Lake Crossing, has been in construction since [January] 2008 and is a joint project between several federal and state agencies: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, State of California and Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. The Corps of Engineers built the dam, while the Bureau of Reclamation excavated the spillway chute and will operate the dam when it is finished.

So assuming the all hands on deck emergency at Oroville hasn’t distracted from working on Folsom and thus the new spillway is completed on schedule this fall, construction will only have gone on for 9 years and 9 months. That schedule appears to have succeeded in keeping the cost under a billion dollars.

At Folsom, they’ve only been averaging an expenditure of a quarter million per day for the last decade, compared to the $4.7 million spent per day over the last month at Oroville.

So, if they could get plans for a replacement spillway at Oroville drawn up this summer and start work during the dry season, they ought to get it finished by spring 2026. Hope there’s going to be a big drought until then!

Of course, drawing up plans in California in only a few months is unheard of due to environmental laws and the like.

 
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  1. The big question is why taxpayers from Barry the Kenyan’s other 56 States should pick up any of the bill for any of what you California F*ckwits perpetrated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Do you honestly believe people like Steve and I have any authority or responsibility for this nonsense?

    "The nitwits of California" I could live with; the insertion of "you" in this forum seems a bit overwrought and derisive of innocent parties, including its host.

    All the same, I take your point.
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  2. Anonymous says:

    Folsom Spillway? Is that where all the runoff from the Folsom St. Fair ends up?

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  3. L Woods says:
    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    I have struggled mightily to remain optimistic and reserve judgment, but I am increasingly convinced Trump has no intention of doing one damned, meaningful thing to address the invasion (N.B. statements like the one you cite, inaction over the Dreamer / DACA abomination, emphasis on deportation of convicted felons and silence on deportation of other invaders, etc.).
  4. Mr. Blank says:

    I wonder how many folks on the Left make the connection between our era’s lack of enthusiasm for big government schemes like nationalized health care and the government’s ham-fisted execution of large-scale government projects whose results are immediately visible to taxpayers.

    Single-payer universal health care might be a much easier sell if the public were accustomed to seeing big, visible things like dams get built very quickly and under budget.

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  5. Amazing that it takes this long when you factor in the fact that this area does not have a hard winter like the NE has. Private industry sets a hard deadline to bring a project to completion or on line. Witness how long it takes to simply repave a section of interstate highway for an example of why this spillway is still a work in progress. And in other California public works news, the demolition of the failed bridge on Cal Hwy. 1 , at Big Sur,has been stopped after three hours of work by a 6000 pound wrecking ball produced no discernable results. The wrecking ball was being dropped on the road bed from a large crane. I will point out here that a 6000 pound wrecking ball is just three ton, and the bridge was built to withstand the constant pounding caused by 20 ton trucks. Why not implode it? Too much dust in the air?

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    Public works projects have an underappreciated timing component: ask when the agency hitters plan to retire, then work backwards to stage the progress accordingly. Add in pension spiking through judicious use of overtime and vacation or sick leave add-ins when available and you are going to boost that monthly retirement check significantly. (The latter tweaks are more feasible at the city or county level, as many taxpayers around the country, and not just in the Golden State, are seeing.)
  6. Ivy says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Amazing that it takes this long when you factor in the fact that this area does not have a hard winter like the NE has. Private industry sets a hard deadline to bring a project to completion or on line. Witness how long it takes to simply repave a section of interstate highway for an example of why this spillway is still a work in progress. And in other California public works news, the demolition of the failed bridge on Cal Hwy. 1 , at Big Sur,has been stopped after three hours of work by a 6000 pound wrecking ball produced no discernable results. The wrecking ball was being dropped on the road bed from a large crane. I will point out here that a 6000 pound wrecking ball is just three ton, and the bridge was built to withstand the constant pounding caused by 20 ton trucks. Why not implode it? Too much dust in the air?

    Public works projects have an underappreciated timing component: ask when the agency hitters plan to retire, then work backwards to stage the progress accordingly. Add in pension spiking through judicious use of overtime and vacation or sick leave add-ins when available and you are going to boost that monthly retirement check significantly. (The latter tweaks are more feasible at the city or county level, as many taxpayers around the country, and not just in the Golden State, are seeing.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Ivy, you are absolutely correct. Police and firemen in Buffalo work double shifts as they approach their retirement, which is based on average salary of their last three years.
  7. Hey L Woods – Trump is the f-cking President – He’s got to ” be for everyone ” . It ain’t cucking , pal . It’s called being politically smart and not giving the loathe some media propagandists more ammo .

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  8. The Three Gorges Dam was built in nine years, at a cost of $27,600,000,000.00.

    With apologies to Mr. Derbyshire, we are doomed.

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  9. @Bill Jones
    The big question is why taxpayers from Barry the Kenyan's other 56 States should pick up any of the bill for any of what you California F*ckwits perpetrated.

    Do you honestly believe people like Steve and I have any authority or responsibility for this nonsense?

    “The nitwits of California” I could live with; the insertion of “you” in this forum seems a bit overwrought and derisive of innocent parties, including its host.

    All the same, I take your point.

    Read More
  10. @L Woods
    OT: Trump cucks http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/323940-wh-trump-disagrees-with-steve-kings-somebody-elses-babies-remark

    I have struggled mightily to remain optimistic and reserve judgment, but I am increasingly convinced Trump has no intention of doing one damned, meaningful thing to address the invasion (N.B. statements like the one you cite, inaction over the Dreamer / DACA abomination, emphasis on deportation of convicted felons and silence on deportation of other invaders, etc.).

    Read More
  11. Dee says:

    It’s a Kali thang;

    http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/13/moraga-sign-wishes-year-old-sinkhole-a-happy-1st-birthday/

    Year old sinkhole. About 20 feet deep, 15×20 feet big. $3.3million to fill in the hole and repave.

    Nothing but complete, total incompetence, when it comes to anything the govt gets involved with…

    My ex and her family were mostly govt employees, I was always embarrassed by them…

    If I had a hole that size in my driveway, it would be a couple thousand dollars of fill; compacted. And then compacted gravel over that; I wouldn’t get a paving crew out for something that small. I’d wait until they were in the neighborhood and then get them to pave it.

    The road would be impassible for a couple of days at the most.

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  12. Dr. X says:

    Maybe California could get the job done faster and cheaper by hiring illegal Mexican construction workers, and paying them seven bucks an hour under the table…

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  13. Take a look at the spillway gate failure in 1995. Among the potential causes: switching to an environmentally friendly lubricant on the gate trunnion pins.

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  14. @Ivy
    Public works projects have an underappreciated timing component: ask when the agency hitters plan to retire, then work backwards to stage the progress accordingly. Add in pension spiking through judicious use of overtime and vacation or sick leave add-ins when available and you are going to boost that monthly retirement check significantly. (The latter tweaks are more feasible at the city or county level, as many taxpayers around the country, and not just in the Golden State, are seeing.)

    Ivy, you are absolutely correct. Police and firemen in Buffalo work double shifts as they approach their retirement, which is based on average salary of their last three years.

    Read More
  15. 1800563

    The 2nd Avenue Subway in Manhatta that recently opened had a photo of a groundbreaking ceremony involving Governor Rockefeller and Mayor Lindsay.

    But construction didn’t really get going until about 10 years ago.

    Read More
  16. bomag says:

    As a reminder, the Panama canal was built in ten years; 1904-1914. The men in charge at that time complained bitterly about the bureaucracy; John Frank Stevens famously ignored the bureaucrats, shutting down the project until sanitation was improved, and going directly to the Roosevelt administration to get what he needed.

    Today it looks like we’ve given in to the bureaucrats and let things linger while they eternally probe us at the airport.

    Read More
  17. It seems grossly unfair to take snide swipes at environmental groups in the case of Oroville. A decade ago, they identified the problem and tried to get it fixed. But California’s government and water agencies didn’t want to pay. Now it’s an emergency, non-Californians must pay, and let’s blame environmentalists for slowing things down. As the San Jose Mercury News reported recently:

    Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside….

    The feds rejected the environmental groups’ request “after the state Department of Water Resources, and the water agencies that would likely have had to pay the bill for the upgrades, said they were unnecessary. Those agencies included the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California…along with the State Water Contractors, an association of 27 agencies that buy water from the state of California through the State Water Project.

    ***

    “We said ‘are you really sure that running all this water over the emergency spillway won’t cause the spillway to fail?’” said Ron Stork, policy director with Friends of the River, a Sacramento environmental group that filed the motions in 2005. “They tried to be as evasive as possible. It would have cost money to build a proper concrete spillway.”

    Stork watched with horror Sunday night as the emergency spillway was at risk of collapse.

    “I’m feeling bad that we were unable to persuade DWR and FERC and the Army Corps to have a safer dam,” he said Sunday.

    Stork said that officials from the Department of Water Resources told him informally at the time that the Metropolitan Water District and the water contractors who buy water from Oroville did not want to incur the extra costs.

    “I’m sad and hoping, crossing my fingers, that they can prevent the reservoir from failing,” he said. “I don’t think anybody at DWR has ever been this close in their careers to such a catastrophic failure.”

    Source: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/12/oroville-dam-feds-and-state-officials-ignored-warnings-12-years-ago/

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  18. @Autochthon
    Do you honestly believe people like Steve and I have any authority or responsibility for this nonsense?

    "The nitwits of California" I could live with; the insertion of "you" in this forum seems a bit overwrought and derisive of innocent parties, including its host.

    All the same, I take your point.

    And I yours.

    Read More

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