SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A Record of Decision for the Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway’s fourth phase was signed by Col. William J. Leady, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, here March 8, 2013, officially completing the environmental process and selecting a proposed plan for the project’s next phase of construction.
The fourth phase will construct the new spillway’s 1,100-foot-long approach channel on the reservoir side of the control structure, essentially a second dam that’s currently under construction, and the 3,027-foot-long spillway chute and stilling basin on the downstream side. The stilling basin works as an energy dissipater to slow the water as it enters the American River.
“Signing the ROD is a significant milestone because it allows us to proceed with a major portion of the project on time,” project manager Beth Salyers said. “Our dedicated team, including our non-federal partners, worked tirelessly, using outside-the-box thinking to ensure the project would meet both its schedule and environmental requirements.”
The ROD, which was signed three weeks ahead of schedule, states what the decision is; identifies the alternatives considered, including the environmentally preferred alternative; and discusses mitigation plans, including any enforcement and monitoring commitments. Signing the ROD is the final step in the environmental impact statement process as outlined in the National Environmental Policy Act.
Sacramento District officials are currently reviewing bid proposals submitted Feb. 25, 2013, for the work, with the expectation of awarding the contract in May. Construction on the fourth phase is scheduled to begin in summer 2013, with completion expected in October 2017.
The Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway project is an approximately $900 million cooperative effort between the Corps and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, along with the state's Central Valley Flood Protection Board and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, to improve the safety of Folsom Dam and reduce the flood risk for the Sacramento area. The spillway is scheduled to be completed in October 2017.