Sunday, September 23, 2012

Web cam shows San Vicente Dam project; world's largest roller-compacted concrete dam raise

Joe Pacheco, who apparently figured that the way to get a reputation as someone concerned about safety was to frequently put workers on suspension, has been moved out of his job at San Vicente Dam. It seems that while Joe created the appearance of concern for safety, his workers were put at risk.

Some Shimmick Construction workers have been burned by the chemicals in the slurry as it is pushed out between the forms during compaction by the rollers. Also, some of the slurry reaches the water in the reservoir.

Link: Time lapse movie of construction of San Vicente Dam.

San Diego County Water Authority

A new web cam system at San Vicente Dam allows the public to witness progress on the world’s largest roller-compacted concrete dam raise. Two cameras offer different views of construction activities, enabling viewers to see weeks of dam raise work compressed into a brief time-lapse video.

Click on Topside View or Downstream View for two vantage points of construction. These high-resolution photos are updated every 30 minutes, providing a current snapshot of dam raise construction. The time-lapse sequences combine these photos, illustrating the construction process.

During construction, we will be offering a limited number of public tours. Guests will view the project site from the downstream, or dry side, of San Vicente Dam as work is under way to raise the dam 117 feet. Tour participants must be 18 years of age or older and will be required to follow site safety and security procedures.

To be notified of future public tours of the San Vicente Dam Raise, please forward your contact information to

About This Project
The San Vicente Dam Raise is part of the Emergency Storage Project, a system of reservoirs, interconnected pipelines, and pumping stations designed to make water available to the San Diego region in the event of an interruption in imported water deliveries.

LAKESIDE: San Vicente dam project passes milestone
May 16, 2012

Construction on a $450 million project to raise San Vicente Dam has entered its final phase, as workers began pouring concrete above the level of the existing dam.

The project, by the San Diego County Water Authority, will more than double San Vicente Reservoir's capacity, said Kelly Rodgers, project manager for the dam raise.

"It is the largest single increase in water storage in the county's history," Rodgers said Tuesday in an on-site interview.

As of Tuesday, the project has extended two feet above the existing dam height.

The $450 million price tag for the dam raise and its associated projects comes to nearly one-third the $1.5 billion cost of the Water Authority's Emergency Storage Project, the umbrella name for the authority's plan to boost local storage to a six-month supply.

Set amid East County's boulder-strewn mountains off of State Route 67, San Vicente Reservoir is owned and operated by San Diego. It would also be the terminus of a pipeline to San Diego County from the Imperial Valley, if that pipeline is ever built.

The pipeline, which could cost more than $2 billion, is now under study by the authority. It would allow the authority to circumvent using the infrastructure of Metropolitan Water District. The authority is suing the giant Southern California water wholesaler on the grounds that Metropolitan is charging the authority illegally high fees, a charge Metropolitan flatly rejects.

The Emergency Storage Project began in 2000 as a response to a severe drought about a decade earlier, which briefly threatened homes and businesses with the loss of half of their water. That would have been catastrophic for businesses such as life science companies, which require water in their manufacturing process and in research.

The authority says the increased local supply will help the county weather any crisis, such as an earthquake, that interrupts its supply of imported water.

Until recently, construction workers have poured concrete below the level of the dam. Now, the workers will pile on the concrete in terrace fashion to boost the dam's height from 220 feet to 337 feet.

That 117-foot increase will increase the reservoir's capacity from 90,000 acre-feet to 242,000 acre-feet, an increase of 152,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot equals about 326,000 gallons, enough for two average single-home families of four for one year.

The original storage belongs to San Diego; the additional storage belongs to the Water Authority.

"This is the largest component of the fourth and final phase of the Emergency Storage Project," Rodgers said. "The cornerstone of the Emergency Storage Project was the construction of Olivenhain dam and reservoir."

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