DWR: Spillway construction ahead of schedule, workers seen on spillway


OROVILLE, Calif. - For the first time since the reconstruction process began on the Oroville Dam spillway, workers could be seen on the damaged spillway.

Construction of the new spillway is approximately one week ahead of schedule, according to Jagdeep Sidhu, an engineer with the Department of Water Resources Program Control Section.

The first area of work on the spillway itself is focusing on the lower chute where the water flows into the Feather river.

Sidhu said it's not anticipated that the spillway in its present state will be used again, but that depends on how quickly the new one can be constructed as well as future weather conditions.

"We moved a week earlier because if we had significant rainfall events or more inflows into the reservoir then we would have to delay the closing down of the spillway," said Sidhu.

Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., which was awarded the construction project, said the complete recovery and replacement of the spillway will be done in multiple phases due to the enormity of the project and the time limitations of the construction season.

It is hoped that a functional spillway will be ready for use by November.

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