Spaulding Dam No. 1 Gallery Access Improvements

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Spaulding Dam No. 1 Gallery Access Improvements

Lake Spaulding is located in Nevada County, California on the South Fork of the Yuba River, and approximately 80 miles northeast of Sacramento. The reservoir is formed by three dams, identified as Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Spaulding Dam No. 1 is located at the far southwest end of the reservoir.

The gallery access shaft at Spaulding Dam No. 1 is a 145-foot-deep, 6 to 10 foot diameter vertical shaft excavated into the left (south) rock abutment of the dam, which provides personnel access to the upper intake butterfly valve (Tunnel 1), main dam gallery (Tunnel 2), and lower dam intake butterfly valve (Tunnel 3). A series of existing fixed, caged access ladders and horizontal platforms, installed at varying intervals between 14 and 25 feet, exhibited signs of corrosion damage due to years of water seepage from the rock walls of the shaft; requiring demolition, disposal, and replacement.

The access improvement project consisted of:

  • Removing the existing caged steel access ladders and platforms;
  • Removing approximately 28 cubic yards of rock from the shaft wall to provide clearance for the new structure;
  • Installing rock fall protection netting to stabilize the shaft walls;
  • Installing a new stainless steel platform tower, platforms, ladders, and aluminum cladding;
  • Installing new lighting in the shaft, Tunnel 1, and Tunnel 3;
  • Installing communication systems inside the shaft, main dam gallery, and intake valve chambers;
  • Replacing the existing power supply panelboard;
  • Installing new communication and lighting panels at the shaft entrance;
  • Installing a new shaft entrance stud wall and doorway;
  • Installing five telephone stations; and
  • Replacing the existing armored cables to the existing valves.


Due to the nature and location of the work, operations needed to comply with Cal/OSHA CCR Title 8, Construction Safety Orders, General Industry Safety Orders, and Tunnel Safety Orders.

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