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Found some great info from the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project HERE!  The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project work site is a busy place on an average day. Machines both large and small are in constant motion, moving soils and materials from one side of the site to dispose of them on the other.

However, this Wednesday around lunchtime was different. Work paused, for a short time, to celebrate the team’s achievement of another milestone. The team has moved a total of 2 million cubic yards of rock and soils since the project began in August 2011. As the team enjoyed its well-earned pizza lunch to celebrate, we wondered how much dirt they’d just managed to move.

2 million cubic yards of dirt weighs as much as 1,656 space shuttles. It weighs as much as 1,175 Saturn V Rockets and weighs as much as 18,225 Boeing 747’s.

Here’s another question: Why? Building a dam is similar to painting a house, in that the majority of the work goes into the preparation. The team needs to remove all the loose materials on both sides of the valley and the valley floor so the new dam will be built upon a solid base. The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project will have to move more than 9 million cubic yards of soils and rock during construction. About 3.5 million cubic yards of the materials will be used in the construction of the new dam, while the remainder will be disposed of onsite.

Here are some other recent milestones:

  • Dug down far enough to reach the dam foundation
  • Completed an active water treatment system on site
  • Constructed the foundation of a supporting dike under a disposal site,
  • erected a soldier pile wall for the right abutment of the future dam
  • Began construction of a new intake shaft and
  • Connected adits and tunnels to the system.

Through this major work, our team has faced many challenges and discovered unforeseen findings along the way due to the complex nature of the project site. As the team continues to meet the many challenges with their shared sense of teamwork and joint efforts at problem solving, the team took a moment to celebrate the first year of construction.

Paul Crotty, of Ventura Consulting Group, was instrumental in facilitating a partnering process with the Owner (SFPUC) and the Tri-Venture (Dragados, Flatiron and Sukut) to coordinate all the key consultants and develop a collaborative solution through the significant differing site conditions (DSC).

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