Oroville’s 770-foot dam needs fixed and it needs fixed now. Independent safety experts from all walks hired by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission say if the dam isn’t repaired and the damaged spillway in working order by fall, it places the 188,000 people of that area and their property in significant risk — again.
Fall is when the rainy season hits Northern California in earnest.
A report from the California Legislative Analyst's Office notes to get the repairs done it will take around the clock efforts between now and then. And it has set November 1st as the target date to finish. It also points out that tens of billions of dollars are needed to repair aging dams and levees around the state and that Oroville’s dam is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
California Department of Water Resources spokeswoman Maggie Macias said her department’s objective is to have the spillway redone by the November 1st date. “We’ll be working round-the-clock through spring, summer and fall to make that happen,” she said.
A price tag for the repairs has not been set yet.
That California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office finds it will take tens of billions to repair the state’s dams and levees is not surprising. Nor is it much a surprise that other — similar — agencies in other states and at the federal level find the nation’s infrastructure in terrible condition.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is one such group and in its just released every four-years report, it gave the condition of the nation’s roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure a grade of D+.
President Trump has promised to spend about $1 trillion in public and private funds in the next few years to begin to fix the problems but the engineers say it is going to take at least an additional $2 trillion — in addition to what cities, counties, states and the federal government has already budgeted — to raise the grade.
To get to a grade B by 2025 will take about $4.59 trillion.
ASCE President Norma Jean Mattei said, “We need our elected leaders — those who pledged to rebuild our infrastructure while on the campaign trail — to follow through on those promises with investment and innovative solutions that will ensure our infrastructure is built for the future.”
Source links: Insurance Journal, Bloomberg