Friday, April 07, 2017


by Bob Walsh

The Department of Water Resources announced the general plan for the upgrades and repairs to the Oroville dam on Thursday. A few days late, but what the hell.

The work will be done on both the primary and the emergency spillway. The downstream face of the emergency spillway will be "armored" with cement to ensure that it will not fail if the emergency spillway is actually used again. That is probably a really good idea.

The upper portion of the chute of the primary spillway will be rebuilt. All of this is to take place before November 1 of this year. The plan is also to rebuild ALL of the primary spillway chute, but the bottom half is not planned to be finished until next year. The upper portion of the spillway chute Is still more-or-less intact.

I am still predicting that this is a hopelessly optimistic timetable, but that prediction is only based on 30 years with the state, watching badly made plans turn to shit on a regular basis. So I could be wrong. I have been wrong before. The last time was in September of 2005. I thought I had been wrong about something, but it turns out I hadn't been.


Anonymous said...

armored with cement? What was it made from before?

bob walsh said...

I THINK it was just compacted earth with a hard topped edge. After all the dam is made of earth filled. And since it is an EMERGENCY spillway and nobody ever figured it would actually be USED Or it could have been compacted crushed beer cans. I am not sure.