The Success Dam Enlargement Project, headed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, has been working its way towards construction since October 2018. After a public meeting took place at the Veterans Memorial building back in February, the project’s leads have been hard at work to produce a timeline for the widening project.

On Tuesday morning the timeline was published, and it reveals that construction on the Success Dam Enlargement Project will begin in mid 2020. Until then, plenty of work is scheduled to happen before construction starts.

The project is currently in the design phase for the right abutment. This abutment will help to support the pressure created by the spillway. The design phase began in October 2018 and will extend until March 2020. 

At the same time as the designing is taking place, a survey of possible environmental impacts from the right abutment will commence. This survey began in October 2018 and last until January 2020.

Once the environmental impacts of the right abutment are assessed, gears will switch to designing the spillway. The design phase for the spillway will begin this April and will be complete in March 2021. An environmental impact survey for the spillway will begin in August, shortly after the design phase starts. It will last through October 2020.

Once all designs and environmental impact surveys have been completed, the final phase before construction can begin. This is called the acquisition phase. The acquisition phase for the right abutment will last from March 2020 to July 2020, and the spillway acquisition phase will take place from February 2021 to July 2021. 

After all of the proper phases have been completed, construction can begin. Construction on the right abutment will begin after the acquisition phase ends in July 2020 and will continue for a year, until July 2021. Following the completion of the right abutment, construction to widen the spillway will start. The widening will begin in July 2021 and last for two years, until July 2023.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who has pushed for this enlargement for years, released the following statement on Tuesday about the project.

“Increasing flood protection to Porterville and Tulare County from Lake Success has been a top priority of mine in Congress,” said McCarthy. “That is why I brought senior Army Corps officials to Porterville in 2016 to tour Lake Success and meet with community leaders to advocate for the enlargement project. I am glad to report that working alongside the Army Corps, we were able to secure full funding for this project last year. Raising and widening the spillway is vital to the safety of Porterville’s nearly 60,000 residents and the protection of thousands of acres of farmland below Success Dam. I look forward to continuing to work with the Army Corps and our community to ensure the project remains on track.”

Porterville Mayor Martha Flores expressed her appreciation and gratitude for the push from McCarthy, and spoke about the projects importance to the city.

“We are truly appreciative for both last year’s determination by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide full funding for the project, as well as the expeditious timeline now received to complete construction on this significant project by 2023, which will have tremendous benefit to the community and broader region both in terms of flood protection and water storage,” said Flores. “We would like to sincerely thank Congressman McCarthy and the stakeholders of the Tule River Improvement Joint Powers Authority for their continued dedicated efforts and support for this long-needed project.”

This project will widen the Success Dam spillway, raise it by ten feet, and increase the current capacity of the reservoir by 28,000 acre-feet. The purpose of widening and raising the spillway is to reduce flood risk and improve irrigation water supply. This is a $74 million project that receives its funding from the government.

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