Engineers work to make Isabella Dam safer


The Isabella Dam -- consisting of the main dam, auxiliary dam and service spillway -- became fully operational in 1953. In 2005, it was deemed unstable, and the Army Corps of Engineers ran studies that turned into construction to make is safer.

Engineers started with capping the amount of water in the reservoir. Now, they are working on individual phases.

Sam Wider, project manager for the Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project, said in 2016 they began Phase I, which included the relocation of several U.S. Forest Service buildings, along with various other expansions.

Their next phase involves the engineers working on remediation at the main and auxiliary dams and excavation of a new emergency spillway, along with modifications to the existing spillway.

Wider said they hope to release contractor employment opportunities with the public soon for the next phase of work.

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