Lake Oroville – Oroville, California
2018 AGC of California Constructor Award
Meeting the Challenge of the Difficult Job: Heavy Engineering
2017 AGC of California Safety Award of Excellence
Safety on a High Hazard Project
In early February 2017, during widespread rainfall in California, operators at the Oroville Dam facility began making releases down the main spillway, but soon observed an unusual flow pattern caused by damage to the middle portion of the Lake Oroville main spillway. Syblon Reid was contacted by DWR and asked to serve as the prime contractor for the emergency response and stabilization work. The initial tasks included: establishing and maintaining control of the existing main spillway gates; clearing trees from below the emergency spillway in anticipation of it overtopping for the first time since it was constructed; and implementing debris removal operations – both below the spillway and at the downstream diversion dam – to prevent fouling of the diversion dam gates and flooding of the 819 megawatt Hyatt Powerplant. Once the flows over the auxiliary spillway ceased, the scope rapidly increased to address multiple tasks; the priority of which was preventing the powerplant from flooding and maintaining it as an operational facility. The expanded scope also included placing large rock and concrete in the eroded areas below the emergency spillway and extensive dredging – both from the shore and off barges – to remove the massive debris plug in the Feather River below the main Spillway.
As the prime contractor, Syblon Reid both self-performed and orchestrated the construction response efforts, which comprised over 50 suppliers and subcontractors. This involved coordinating of over 150,000 labor hours and mobilizing and managing over 130 pieces of heavy equipment, three 50-plus meter boom concrete trucks, four support helicopters, 180 rock delivery trucks, six large barge assemblies with long-reach excavators, nine work boats, multiple tracked drills, support vehicles, and miscellaneous equipment.