News & Press

Kiewit Wins Major Dam Removal Contract

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) recently awarded a design-build contract to AGC member company Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. for a project to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon.

The initial project award authorizes $18.1 million in preliminary services, with a future award for project implementation work to follow once design is finalized on a project that is estimated at about $400 million.

Mark Bransom, KRRC Chief Executive Officer, said the award to Kiewit brings KRRC one step closer to completing “the largest dam removal and river restoration project in U.S. history.” The project is designed to create a free-flowing Klamath River in the region. “Once implemented, the project will help restore the vitality of the Klamath River so that it can support all communities in the basin,” Bransom added.

Kiewit brings extensive experience in dam projects, most recently completing the emergency reconstruction of the Oroville Dam spillways. The company assigned Knight Piesold as the lead designer of the KRRC project. 

Under the agreement, Kiewit will utilize the progressive design-build delivery method, assuming responsibility for both the design and execution of dam removal and river restoration, to be completed in two phases. The preliminary services phase, to begin immediately, includes design, planning, permitting support, native seed bank development and other work for later drawdown of the reservoirs. 

The second project implementation phase is slated to be awarded to Kiewit at the end of the first phase. It would begin 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. Following reservoir drawdown, the project will focus on dam and hydropower facilities removal, recreation facilities removal, creation of new recreation facilities and restoration of formerly inundated land and other 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, according to KRRC.

As currently scheduled, KRRC said Kiewit was expected to complete due diligence and submit a GMP based on 60 percent design by early 2020. Stay tuned for more.