Folsom auxiliary spillway completion ceremony marks conclusion of historic project

Published Oct. 19, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation hosted a ceremony October 17 to celebrate the completion of nearly a decade of work on the new Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway.

Representatives Doris Matsui, California’s 6th Congressional District, and Tom McClintock, California’s 4th Congressional District, joined USACE Sacramento District Commander Col. David Ray and other senior officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, California Central Valley Flood Protection Board, California Department of Water Resources and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency to commemorate the milestone.

“We have four major goals that our nation needs us to consistently achieve,” said Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, Commanding General of the Corps of Engineers. “These goals are to support national security, deliver integrated water resource solutions, reduce disaster risk, and prepare for tomorrow. Right here in Folsom,” he continued, “the auxiliary spillway … proudly stands as a tangible example of our commitment to advance all of these goals.”

The ceremony culminated with Semonite and U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Austin Ewell unveiling the design for a new dedication plaque to be placed along the American River Bike Trail near the auxiliary spillway control structure.

The project kicked off in 2008 when the Bureau of Reclamation began excavating the site, and with the first two phases complete by 2011, the site was transferred to the Corps to begin construction of the spillway approach channel, chute and control structure.

The first concrete was placed in May 2012 and in 2014, the gates that now help make up the 158-foot tall control structure, arrived from Vancouver, Washington.

In April 2016, the last of more than 307,000 cubic yards of concrete – enough to pave 157 miles of two-lane highway – was placed in the spillway chute, and by December 2016, construction of the new Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway was complete.

The $900-million cooperative effort was designed to improve the safety of Folsom Dam and to reduce flood risk for the approximately 2.5 million people in the Sacramento metropolitan area.

Rick Brown

Release no. 17-037