Hydro-Generation / Water Conveyance

Oroville Dam Spillway Emergency Response



Answering the call

In early February 2017, during widespread rainfall in California, operators at the Oroville Dam facility began making releases down the main spillway, but soon observed an unusual flow pattern caused by damage to the middle portion of the Lake Oroville main spillway. Syblon Reid was con­tact­ed by the owner and asked to serve as the prime con­trac­tor for the emer­gency response and sta­bi­liza­tion work. The ini­tial tasks includ­ed: estab­lish­ing and main­tain­ing con­trol of the exist­ing main spill­way gates; clear­ing trees from below the emer­gency spill­way in antic­i­pa­tion of it over­top­ping for the first time since it was con­struct­ed; and imple­ment­ing debris removal oper­a­tions – both below the spill­way and at the down­stream diver­sion dam – to pre­vent foul­ing of the diver­sion dam gates and flood­ing of the 819 megawatt Hyatt Pow­er­plant. Once the flows over the aux­il­iary spill­way ceased, the scope rapid­ly increased to address mul­ti­ple tasks; the pri­or­i­ty of which was pre­vent­ing the pow­er­plant from flood­ing and main­tain­ing it as an oper­a­tional facil­i­ty. The expand­ed scope also includ­ed plac­ing large rock and con­crete in the erod­ed areas below the emer­gency spill­way and exten­sive dredg­ing – both from the shore and off barges – to remove the mas­sive debris plug in the Feath­er Riv­er below the main Spillway.

  • Location

    Oroville, CA

  • Market

    Emergency Response

  • Services

    Heavy Civil Mechanical

    Marine Work


Emergencies are more than just a quick response

As the prime contractor, Syblon Reid both self-performed and orchestrated the construction response efforts, which comprised over 50 suppliers and subcontractors. This involved coordination of over 150,000 labor hours and mobilizing and managing over 130 pieces of heavy equipment, three 50-plus meter boom concrete trucks, four support helicopters, 18 rock delivery trucks, six large barge assemblies with long-reach excavators, nine work boats, multiple tracked drills, support vehicles, and miscellaneous equipment.

Facts & figures

Facts & Figures

2,100,000 +

cubic yards of sediment dredged out of the Feather River

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