Folsom Dam Projects Get Money; Spillway Work Begins

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(Folsom, CA)
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Folsom Dam was the big winner, picking up almost $23 million for two separate projects.  Most of that money will go towards raising the dam, but some will help out a project already under way: the construction of a new spillway.  That would let officials release more water when the reservoir is lower.  Jeff McCracken with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says that would increase the flood protection for people who live downstream.
McCracken: “From where it is now – which is about 80 to 100 years – to up to 200 years flood protection.”
Other projects in the spending bill include protecting the South Sacramento area from the Mokelumne-Cosumnes River system and the Morrison Creek watershed and improving the levee system in West Sacramento.
The Spillway Project
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers are teaming up to build a gated spillway next to the dam.
The Bureau’s Jeff McCracken says working together will cut the construction time in half.
McCracken: “It was normally gonna take almost 15 to 20 years.  But we can do this in about seven years, it looks like, and we can do it a lot cheaper.  We’re gonna be saving the taxpayers almost a billion dollars.”
The federal government is pouring the lion’s share of funds into the project – over a billion dollars.  The rest comes from the state and from local property taxes.
The official groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the dam next Friday (January 11th).