Lake Isabella dam project approved by Board of Supervisors

Expected to begin construction in Fall 2014

Now that the study phase for the Lake Isabella dam project is complete, engineers presented their plan in front of the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to make the dam more durable and safer for residents. The Board unanimously approved the plan.


Components of the project includes raising the dam to avoid flood overtopping and constructing a new emergency spillway for unexpected flooding. There is also an active major fault line near the dam that engineers say is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately for public safety.


"We're also designing some additional features for seismic design for earthquake loading and we're doing that by beefing up the filters and the drainage system and just making the whole project a little bit more robust to withstand loading that the original designers weren't prepared for," Mike Ruthford, lead engineer for the project, said.


During the course of construction, a section of highway 178 and Lake Isabella Boulevard will be relocated to accommodate the new and improved dam. The construction for relocations will begin in the fall of 2014 and the entire project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.The price tag for the project could cost up to 600 million dollars.


To find out more information about the project, visit

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