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Posted 9/21/2017

Release no. 17-033

Tyler Stalker

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded a $204 million contract on Sept. 18 to Flatiron/Dragados/Sukut Joint Venture of Benicia to construct modifications to the Isabella Lake Dam in Lake Isabella.  

The award marks the beginning of construction to modify the dam in order to address identified overtopping, seismic, and seepage concerns. Construction at the main dam will include excavation of a new emergency spillway, modifications to the existing service spillway, a 16-foot raise of the main dam, modifications to California State Route 155 at the main dam’s right abutment, and modifications at several recreation facilities north of the auxiliary dam.

The contract contains an option to also perform work on the auxiliary dam. If the Corps decides to exercise the option at a future date that would bring the total contract award to $241.75 million. Work on the auxiliary dam would encompass abandonment of the Borel outlet works and modifications to the auxiliary dam, including a 16-foot raise similar to the main dam.

Construction will begin this winter and is expected to be complete in 2022.

Completed in 1953, Isabella Lake Dam is located approximately 42 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The reservoir is impounded by two earthen dams on the Kern River and Hot Springs Valley. Today, Isabella Lake and its dams reduce flood risk for Bakersfield and the surrounding region, and is a primary water source for water users throughout Kern County. The Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project will address issues identified with the main and auxiliary dams to reduce the likelihood of dam failure. 

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