The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District has received supplemental funding for five District projects, totaling an investment of more than $2.1 billion in flood risk management efforts.

Sacramento District projects funded with supplemental appropriations include flood risk management upgrades on the American and Sacramento rivers in Sacramento, dam remediation at Isabella Lake, reservoir enlargement at Success Lake, levee improvements on the Marysville Ring Levee, and continued upgrades at Folsom Dam. The announcement was made July 5.

In February 2018, Congress appropriated more than $17 billion for civil works projects through Public Law 115-123 to fund short-term repair projects and long-term disaster recovery projects.

R.D. James, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, said in a news release that the Corps is showing “its commitment to moving dirt and, more importantly, to completing studies and construction.”  

Three of the biggest projects funded through the Fiscal Year 2018 supplemental appropriations are:

  • American River Common Features flood risk reduction: $1.57 billion
  • Isbella Dam Safety Modification Project: $258.2 million
  • Folsom Dam raise project: $216.5 million

The purpose of the American River Common Features (ARCF) project is to reduce the overall flood risk within the Sacramento metropolitan area, which is one of the most at risk areas for flooding in the United States due to its location at the confluence and within the floodplain of two major rivers.  The non-federal sponsors are the California Natural Resources Agency Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB) and the Sacramento Area  Flood Control Agency (SAFCA).

The Isbella Dam Safety Modification Project is located forty miles northeast of Bakersfield, Kern County, Calif., and consists of an earthfill main dam and auxiliary dam across Kern River and Hot Springs Valley, respectively. The dam was authorized under the Flood Control Act of 1944 and construction was completed in 1953. The Isabella Reservoir provides flood-risk management, irrigation and recreational benefits. With more than 300,000 people living and working below the dams, primarily in the town of Lake Isabella and the city of Bakersfield, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began a dam safety modification study in 2006 to address seismic, hydrologic (potential over-topping during an extreme flood event) and seepage issues at the dams.

Following the signing of the Record of Decision in December 2012, the Corps entered the pre-construction engineering and design phase of the project, and from 2013 to 2016, focused on design improvements to the existing dams and the relocation of U.S. Forest Service buildings located in the excavation footprint.

In September 2017, the Corps awarded a $204-million contract to Flatiron/Dragados/Sukut Joint Venture of Benicia, Calif., to construct the Phase II dams and spillways modifications. The project is expected to be complete in 2022.

The Folsom Dam Raise Project will reduce flood risk in the Greater Sacramento area. Project highlights include a 3.5-ft raise of the Folsom Facility dikes, along with modifications to the main dam’s Tainter gates; and habitat restoration at two sites along the lower American River.