Kiewit wins dam removal contract from KRRC
and News 4/26/19
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) took a
major step toward removal of four hydroelectric dams
on the Klamath River by entering into a design-build
contract with construction firm Kiewit
Infrastructure West Co. of Fairfield, Calif.
The initial award authorizes
$18.1 million in preliminary services, with a
further amount for project implementation work to
follow once design is finalized, according to a
press release issued Thursday morning.
The entire dam removal project
is estimated at $450 million. It expects to employ
400 full- or part-time workers through contracts,
subcontracts and direct hiring. If federal approval
of the operating license transfer for the dams from
PacifiCorp to the KRRC takes place, the project is
expected to start in 2021.
“Selecting Kiewit marks another key achievement and
brings KRRC closer to completing the largest dam
removal and river restoration project in U.S.
history. This contract will help demonstrate KRRC’s
capacity to undertake the project consistent with a
license transfer application pending before the
FERC,” said Mark Bransom, KRRC Chief Executive
“Once implemented, the project
will help restore the vitality of the Klamath River
so that it can support all communities in the
basin,” he said.
Oroville Dam rebuild
Kiewit has extensive
experience in major construction projects, most
recently the emergency reconstruction of the
Oroville Dam spillways, which involved removal and
repair of both the main flood control and emergency
spillways in less than 18 months as well extensive
debris and sediment removal, development of access
roads and other work.
Kiewit has also undertaken
relevant projects such as the Folsom Dam Spillway
Construction (Phases II & IV), East Toba and
Montrose Hydroelectric Design Build and the Kwalsa
and Upper Stave Hydroelectric Design Build.
Kiewit has assigned Knight
Piesold as the lead designer of the KRRC project.
The selection of the restoration contractor will be
forthcoming, the release said.
“We are very proud to have
been selected by KRRC. This project has many
similarities to other complex water and
hydroelectric projects we’ve delivered across North
America,” said Jamie Wisenbaker, senior vice
president, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.
“We fully understand the
breadth and importance of this undertaking and are
excited and committed to safely delivering a
high-quality project that meets the expectations of
KRRC, the community and all key stakeholders in the
region. We look forward to partnering with KRRC and
Under this agreement, Kiewit
will utilize the Progressive Design-Build (PDB)
delivery method, assuming responsibility for both
the design and execution of dam removal and river
restoration, to be completed across two phases.
The preliminary services phase
will include design, planning, permitting support,
native seed bank development, and other preparation
for the later drawdown of the reservoirs. This work
will begin immediately.
The project implementation
phase will be awarded to Kiewit at the end of the
preliminary services phase, beginning with
pre-drawdown work including dam modifications for
drawdown of the reservoirs, road and bridge access
improvements to accommodate construction vehicle
traffic, and bridge and culvert improvements to
accommodate new river and creek geometry.
Following the reservoir
drawdown, project implementation will focus on dam
and hydropower facilities removal, recreation
facilities removal, creation of new recreation
facilities, and restoration of formerly inundated
land and other disturbed areas.
The project implementation phase is contingent on
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval
of license transfer and license surrender, as well
as other regulatory permits.
Early in the preliminary
services process, Kiewit will study the project site
and develop a detailed project design, including
obtaining competitive bids for various elements of
With this information, KRRC
and Kiewit will agree on a final “Guaranteed Maximum
Price” (GMP) for all project implementation work.
The GMP ensures that the contractor will be
responsible for absorbing cost overruns, protecting
the ratepayers and taxpayers who are funding this
On the current schedule, it is
expected that Kiewit will complete due diligence and
submit a GMP based on 60-percent design by January
Local economy benefits
The PDB contract requires that
local and tribal businesses and individuals have the
opportunity to participate, and to increase the
number of ways that this project will benefit the
surrounding communities and local economy.
“For many years, local tribes
have been saying ‘bring the salmon home.’ They have
advocated passionately for this project,” said
Lester Snow, KRRC Board President. “KRRC wishes to
acknowledge the enormous and effective work of
countless tribal members who truly laid the
foundation for this project.”
“Kiewit has every technical
skill in the world to get the job done, but beyond
that, they just feel like the right fit,” said
“Kiewit also comes to the
project with relevant experience, including with the
states of California and Oregon, as well as
PacifiCorp (a Berkshire Hathaway Energy company),
through successfully completed construction projects
as well as other business relationships.”