Corps completes blasting for Folsom Dam spillway

Published April 13, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District conducted its 182nd and final rock blasting today for Folsom Dam’s new spillway, concluding daily road closures on Folsom Lake Crossing bridge.

Today’s blast was the final shot needed to excavate the project’s foundation, now as deep as the Statue of Liberty is tall.

After removing the loosened rock and soil and cleaning the spillway’s foundation, the Corps will shift its focus to construction of the auxiliary spillway’s control structure, a dam-like structure that will be used in coordination with the main dam to release water from Folsom Lake during large storm events.

“By the end of May, we should be approaching another milestone when we begin concrete placement and start seeing the control structure take shape,” project manager Beth Salyers said. “Then you’ll really be able to start seeing the project progress.”

Folsom Lake Crossing was closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for up to one hour on weekdays beginning in March 2011 in order to blast rock where the control structure for the new spillway will be constructed. Sections of the lake within 2,500 feet of the blast area were also restricted.

Similar closures occurred in 2009 as part of the first phase of the project, completed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

“Thank you to everyone for your patience and for working with us during the road closures as we continue to work toward reducing flood risk for the Sacramento region,” resident engineer Jon Revolinsky said.

The Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway Project is a $962 million cooperative effort between the Corps and the Bureau of Reclamation to improve the safety of Folsom Dam and reduce flood risk for the Sacramento area. The new auxiliary spillway will include a 1,100-foot-long approach channel leading to the spillway from Folsom Reservoir, a concrete control structure with six submerged gates, a 3,000-foot-long concrete-lined spillway chute and a stilling basin that will slow water released into the American River to safer velocities.