The US Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a US$23M contract to Hayward Baker of California, US, to undertake modifications at Wickiup dam on the Upper Deschutes river in Oregon. The modifications are necessary to upgrade the dam to current earthquake safety standards. Total project costs are estimated to be US$44M.

Modifications to the dam will consist of jet grouting a portion of the foundation at the toe of the dam, which was successfully tested at Wickiup dam during December 1999. The modifications will also include a stability berm and a new drainage system.

The contractor has until October 2003 to complete the work.

Repairs to Wickiup dam are part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s safety of dams programme which examines and evaluates the structural integrity of its dams and identifies potential public safety risks. Wickiup dam is considered safe under normal operating conditions. However, an emergency response plan remains in effect until modifications to the dam are complete to reduce the potential for loss of life during an earthquake.