Lake Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project weekly update for February 6, 2017

Posted at 12:09 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 15:10:11-05

This is the weekly update on the Lake Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project for the week of February 6, 2017.

The public information officer for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Richard Brown, said in comparison to last month, there aren't that many changes. 

Here is what they have planned in the next 30 days.

  • Once the SR155 turn lane design for French Gulch is complete, a contract will be solicited for construction of the SR155 turn lane. Solicitation is anticipated in summer 2017. 
  • The corps is drafting Supplemental Environmental Assessment #6 (SEA #6) addressing cultural concerns at the SR 155 turn lane. SEA #6 is anticipated to be released for public review in March 2017 with public meetings to follow. 
  • We are finalizing the Phase II contract design while the acquisition of the Borel Canal easement continues. Solicitation of the Phase II contract is expected in early spring of 2017 with contract award by the end of summer 2017.
  • Real estate acquisitions continue with many land tracts nearing finalization. All real estate acquisitions are expected to be finalized prior to the award of the Phase II contract. 

Brown said when they planned the construction and timing they came up with a timeline based on the history of water levels at Lake Isabella over the past few years. 

However because of the increased water this year they've had to tailor their plans slightly. 

The prime example is above, the French Gulch boat launch being pushed back. 

Hypothetically speaking, in the long run, certain repairs or construction may need to be pushed back if the water levels stay this high.

Brown said seeing the high water levels is encouraging, however, because it sparks water recreation opportunities. 

The Department of Water Resources will publish a snow pack forecast for this summer sometime Wednesday. Based on the results of that, the Kern River Water Master, DWR, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will meet and talk about if, and, or when water will be released.