Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has awarded Ames Construction, Inc. of Phoenix and Coffman Specialties, Inc., of San Diego, in a joint venture, a contract of $98.3 million to construct a water reservoir and water delivery project in Imperial County, Calif.
“This project is the culmination of international negotiations and extensive work among representatives of the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership and cooperation with lower Colorado River Basin states and the region’s water districts,” Secretary Kempthorne said. “The project will help to ensure efficient and effective water management, benefiting water users by allowing them to capture for future use Colorado River water that would otherwise be lost.”
The project is located just north of the All-American Canal Drop Structure No. 2, along Interstate Highway 8 in Imperial County, Calif., approximately 30 miles east of El Centro, Calif., and 25 miles west of Yuma, Ariz..
The Drop 2 Storage Reservoir and Canal project will include construction of an 8,000-acre-foot reservoir to retain water flows that are not captured currently –they now pass downstream from Imperial Dam at the southern end of the Colorado River.
Also to be constructed is a water conveyance system capable of handling flows of up to 1,800 cubic-feet per-second. It involves an inlet structure from the All-American Canal to the reservoir; and an outlet structure that connects the reservoir back to the canal.
“This project will make history for the American Southwest,” Reclamation Commissioner Robert Johnson said. “This contract award signals the next phase of a significant water storage project near our nation’s southern border.”
When completed, this project will provide additional water storage space within the United States to maximize the use of Colorado River water released from Parker Dam to the Canal via Imperial Dam. Work on the project is expected to be completed by August 31, 2010.
The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Department of the Interior, is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.