Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Calaveras Dam Project Continues to Dig Away

Today the Calaveras Dam workers celebrated yet another milestone since construction began in August 2011.  Over 3 million cubic yards of soils and rock have been excavated to make room for the replacement dam.  The team enjoyed lunch on top of one of the disposal sites, where they have moved and compacted nearly 20% of the 3 million cubic yards of materials. 

Imagine the weight of 96 fully loaded Titanic ships--- this is the approximate equivalent weight of the 3 million cubic yards of soils and rock that have been excavated and moved to disposal sites around the project. 

By the end of the project, the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project will have moved more than 9 million cubic yards of soils and rock.  About 3.5 million cubic yards of the materials will be used in the construction of the new dam, while the remainder will be disposed of onsite.  As we celebrate today, we still have a lot of heavy moving to look forward to!

Calaveras Dam workers are acknowledged by Earthwork Superintendent Sam Aiello for moving over 3 Million Cubic Yards

View of the Calaveras Dam foundation today
where major excavation has taken place to make room
for the future replacement dam


  1. Seems that this project is moving at a snails pace - is it fixed price or cost plus? What incentives does the contractors have to get it finished?

  2. Thank you for your comment. The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project is a fixed cost contract. In June 2012, during excavation of the large hill known as “Observation Hill” on the left side of the valley, the Contractor encountered unexpected geologic conditions that could contribute to the instability of the left abutment and spillway area as designed. These features were not visible at the ground surface, and were not apparent during the extensive pre-construction geotechnical investigations. Therefore, the excavation cut slope was re-designed and additional materials need to be excavated and moved. This issue has resulted in cost and schedule impacts. This has delayed the original project completion from 2015 to end of 2017. Our contractor and project teams continue to work closely together to complete this very important project to our Regional Water System serving 2.6 million customers in the Bay Area.

    You may read our past blog with more details here: