USACE breaks ground on $373 million Folsom Dam Raise project

USACE Sacramento District
Published Jan. 21, 2020
men and women hold shovels of dirt in a field

Col. James Handura, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District Commander, joined congressional representatives and federal, state and local partner agencies Jan. 21, 2020, for a ceremonial groundbreaking at Folsom Lake, Calif., where USACE will construct the Folsom Dam Raise project to help further reduce flood risk in the Greater Sacramento region.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District broke ground on the Folsom Dam Raise project today during a ceremony near Folsom Lake Dike 8.                                               

Speaking at the ceremony were Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-6), Rep. Ami Bera (CA-7), and the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Hon. Brenda Burman.

“The Folsom Dam Raise project represents the next step in improving public safety and flood management for the Sacramento region,” said Burman. “Raising Folsom Dam is part of this administration's commitment to modernizing our nation's infrastructure and will improve the flexibility of our reservoir operations.”

Reclamation oversees the day-to-day operation of Folsom Dam as part of their mission to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.

The Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation dedicated a new auxiliary spillway for Folsom Dam on October 17, 2017 as the result of a $900 million Joint Federal Project more than ten years in the making. The new spillway sits 50 feet lower than previously existing structures, giving Reclamation more control over water levels in Folsom Lake and reducing flood risk for the Sacramento region.

The new Folsom Dam Raise project builds on the success of the Joint Federal Project by incorporating features that take advantage of forecast-informed decision-making, a new process that enables the Bureau of Reclamation to make more precise water release decisions.

The overall project includes the following authorized components:

·         A three-and-a-half foot raise of the Folsom Facility dikes, Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam, Left Wing Dam, and Right Wing Dam, along with modifications to the main dam’s Tainter gates.

·         Construction of automated temperature control shutters at the main dam to benefit American River fisheries.

·         Habitat restoration at two sites along the lower American River. 

Together, the heightened dikes and dams will raise the surcharge storage capacity of Folsom Lake by 43,000 acre-feet, reducing the flood risk to the greater Sacramento area by allowing for more water storage in extreme flood events.

The overall project also included construction of the Folsom Dam Bridge, which was completed in 2009.

Attending the event alongside the federal agencies and members of Congress were representatives from various state and local agencies, including the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, the California Department of Water Resources, and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency.

These agencies have collaborated with Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers to ensure a unified effort across all levels of government.

The project is expected to be completed in 2025 and has an authorized cost of $373 million, which includes funds from state and local sponsors (the Central Valley Flood Protection Board and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency) as well as supplemental disaster relief appropriations from Fiscal Year 2018.

“We’re proud to be here today alongside our many partners,” said Col. James Handura, the Sacramento District commander. “Together, we’ll see this project through to the end, and celebrate this investment in the continued safety and prosperity of Folsom, Sacramento, and this entire region.”


Jeremy Croft

Release no. 20-002