Repairs on Folsom Dam spillway to cost $16 million

Repairs on Folsom Dam spillway to cost $16 million

Repairs on Folsom Dam spillway to cost $16 million


FOLSOM – There’s a dam dilemma facing the Folsom Dam spillway. 

In 2017, local dignitaries celebrated the construction of a new auxiliary spillway at Folsom Dam. And after years of drought, the flood-control project was just used for the first time this January, allowing more water to be released from the lake as a series of strong winter storms hit northern California. 

CBS13 has learned that parts of the nearly billion-dollar spillway are broken. 

folsom dam spillway gates

According to CBS13, the nearly billion-dollar auxiliary spillway at Folsom Dam has been discovered to have a design flaw that has resulted in damage to the system. The metal rods that open and close the steel gates have cracks in the coating that allows water to seep through, causing corrosion that could eventually prevent the system from operating. 

“This is a case where, with all the best intent, we applied a particular technology that wasn’t optimum,” said Bradley Call from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

To rectify the issue, it will cost over $16 million to replace the 12 defective rods, which is set to take place in 2025. 

Call says that the impact on flood control along the American River will not be significant, stating that only one gate will be repaired at a time, and lake levels will not need to be lowered during the repairs. 

“Our goal is to keep the auxiliary spillway in service as much as possible because it could be needed on short notice,” said Call.

The repair work is expected to take place during the summer and fall when the spillway is typically not needed. However, all the rods won’t be fixed until 2027. Call acknowledges that the original construction phase was not done correctly, but he assures that they will “make it right.”

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