Now that the environmental impact statement is complete, the public getting a good look at the Isabella Dam safety modification project. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers just released the video it produced.
"The Corps' preferred plan for Isabella includes raising the height of the main and auxiliary dams, adding filtering and drainage systems, constructing an emergency spillway, lining and treating the existing spillway, realigning the Borel Canal, and relocating portions of Highway 155 and 178."
Lake Isabella Dam is nearly 60 years old and one of the highest-risk dams for catastrophic flooding in the Corps. The video explains the Sacramento District's plan to modernize the dam by raising the main and auxiliary dams 16 feet. It also addresses how it's working with local communities to reduce the impact from construction to their daily life and the environment.
"It's the public's project really. We're doing the work, but the residents certainly and the public, we need their input, they live there. With input from the public, cost, many factors, we then arrive at what we call the preferred alternative, which is the way, in the end, we're going to repair this dam."
The public comment period on anticipated impacts to homes and businesses in the Kern River Valley starts in July.
The dam safety modification project has officially transitioned into the design phase and the team has begun work on several key exploration contracts anticipated to be awarded early this year. Construction isn't expected to start until late 2016 or early 2017 after highways 155 and 178 are moved.
Watch the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' video here: