|Lake Success||State Route 190 and Success Valley Drive, Porterville 93257|
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Corps settles on potential remedy for Success Dam
Congress must first approve plans
After years of delays, officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are confident they have found a remedy to Success Dam’s problems — one that Congress will approve.
The restoration could cost $500 million in taxpayer money, but would help store more water and get it to people more efficiently.
“The key is getting more storage, more water,” Mayor Pete McCracken said. “The farmers don’t have enough water.”
A few years ago, an inspection team found faults within the dam, located off Highway 190 between Porterville and Springville, including seepage problems and instability in the soil.
Years of research have yielded a variety of solutions, but the recommendation to Congress will be that it approves a 350-foot extension downstream and the replacement of its core.
In the 1990s, unrelated studies found that the dam’s foundation is weak and could crumble during a major earthquake.
“I wish it [were fixed] in 2009,” McCracken said. “A lot of services from the city are going to benefit.”
In a few months, the list of recommendations will be reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington and then proposed to Congress in the fall.
If Congress approves the recommended plan, and eventually the funding, construction workers could start turning soil in 2012.
“We can’t guarantee congressional funding,” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers media spokesman David Kill said. “But based on the amount of work we have put into it, we feel confident.”
Once the dam is completed, it will provide more irrigation water to farmers, more recreational opportunities and increase flood safety, McCracken said.
“It’s going to be a tremendous boost,” he said.
Construction would require residents of the Lakeside Mobile Home Park, located just below the dam, to relocate. Their moving costs would be paid for.
-- Contact Jenna Chandler at 784-5000, Ext. 1045, or firstname.lastname@example.org.