Isabella Dam project design refinements out for public review

Published June 28, 2016

SACRAMENTO, California – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District released its proposal today for design refinements to the Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project in Kern County.

The proposed refinements outlined in the draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment #5 include material disposal on Engineers Point, realignment of Barlow Road and Ponderosa Drive, construction of permanent Corps facilities, alignment of the auxiliary dam left abutment and installation of dam security features. All of the refinements are designed to reduce resource impacts, project costs, and the likelihood and associated consequences of dam failures.

Draft SEA #5 is a follow-up to the Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project environmental impact statement completed in 2012, which initially addressed the project design.

The draft SEA and final EIS are available on the project web page at Public meetings are scheduled for July 25-27, 2016, to allow the public to learn more about the proposed plan, ask questions of Corps staff and to submit comments. Comments will be accepted until Aug. 5, 2016.

The public meetings will be held:

July 25, 2016; 6-8 p.m.

Kern River Veterans Center
6405 Lake Isabella Blvd.
Lake Isabella, CA 93240

 July 26, 2016; 6-8 p.m.
Kernville Elementary School
13350 Sierra Way
Kernville, CA 93238

July 27, 2016; 6-8 p.m.
Kern County Board of Supervisors Chambers
1115 Truxtun Ave.
Bakersfield, CA 93301

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 overtopping, seismic and seepage issues identified with Isabella Lake’s Main and Auxiliary dams to reduce the likelihood of dam failure. Construction of the dam modifications is scheduled to begin in 2017.

Rick Brown

Release no. 16-018