prepare for Klamath dam removal
Although the contract has yet to be awarded and the
operating license hand-over has yet to be approved, Kiewit
Infrastructure West is seeking to give local contractors as
much detail as it can regarding the proposed removal of four
hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.
Representatives from Kiewit met with about 30 local
contractors Tuesday night at the Cerulean Hotel in Downtown
Klamath Falls. It’s one of several stops the international
construction firm is making in anticipation of winning the
lead contractor bid.
could mean a lot of jobs and full hotels in Klamath for
quite a while,” said Mark Anderton of Klamath Falls, who
does earth moving for a living. “I’d like to have a job that
is close to home.”
Michael Farrauto, of Epoch Geospatial and land surveying
services of Ashland, also hoped to win a bid with Kiewit.
“There should be quite a bit of surveying work for roads,
bridges, culverts,” he said. “I travel all over the country
but it would be nice to find work closer to home.”
is one of three major construction operators vying as the
lead designer on the project, believed to be one of the
largest dam removal projects in the U.S. The other two are:
Barnard Construction Co. based in Bozeman, Mont., and
Granite Construction Co. based in Watsonville, Calif.
project is to remove the J.C. Boyle in Oregon, Copco 1 and 2
and Iron Gate in Northern California along the Klamath River
starting in 2021. The dams belong to the PacifiCorp utility,
which is seeking permission from the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC) to transfer the license to the
Klamath River Renewal Corp. KRRC anticipates selecting a
winning construction firm in March 2019.
Dupuis, business manager for Kiewit, told the gathering,
“It’s very important to us that you have the opportunity to
compete for these projects. And it’s important that
contractors stay in touch with us.” (See sidebar)
bidding process is slightly different than the norm, given
the enormity of the project. It is what is known as a
Progressive Design Build. In general the lead contractor
assembles a team of experts regarding the various parts of
the project. From there, the team selects the subcontractors
as needed and when they are needed.
the contractors may not be bidding on the project until a
year or two down the road,” Dupuis said. It also helps align
the costs so they are fair to all the parties involved.
work as a team with KRRC to finalize the design, optimize
the construction plan,” Dupuis said. “It’s a really good way
to deliver a complex project with this since there may be a
lot of unknowns. It removes some of the risk and
uncertainties to both sides.”
pricing component only takes one up to the 60 percent of the
design phase. Once completed, everything after that is a
negotiation between the successful bidder and KRRC.
team members that Kiewit are employing include: Knight
Piesold, an international firm, as the prime design partner;
with design and permitting support by specialty teams from
Northwest Hydraulic Consultants based in Sacramento, Calif.;
and ICF Consultants a global technology and marketing firm.
Removal of the four dams is believed to be the biggest such
project in the West, tentatively scheduled to start in 2021,
with a cost approaching $400 million.
goal is to create a natural flow in the lower river so that
spore bacteria harmful to Coho and Chinook salmon will be
flushed downstream. Now, with the slow-moving water, the
bacteria have a comfortable environment to thrive, putting
the salmon at risk. If it works, more water could become
available for irrigators.
economic horizon is that creation of some 400 to 500 jobs
needed for the deconstruction of the dams, plus up to 1,500
indirect jobs that would support that work.
team consists of Kiewit as the prime contractor, Knight
Piesold as the prime design partner, with design and
permitting support by specialty teams from Northwest
Hydraulic Consultants and ICF Consultants.
is still in the process of reviewing KRRC’s plan, but
according to David Meurer, community liaison for KRRC, the
group hopes to receive a decision on the transfer
application in 2019.
FERC will move on to the surrender application. We are also
in the process of obtaining other major regulatory
approvals, including a 401 Water Quality permit from the
California State Water Resources Control Board, a 404 Water
Quality permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and a
Biological Opinion from the Fish and Wildlife Service and
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.”
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