Oct 14, 2021
Reclamation awards contract for Friant-Kern Canal repairs

The Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Authority (FWA) announced Oct. 7 the selection of a construction contractor to begin work on the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project.

Brosamer & Wall/Tutor Perini Joint Venture, based in Walnut Creek, California, was awarded a $177 million contract to perform the construction aspects of the first phase of work to repair the FriantKern Canal along a portion of the 33-mile stretch. This portion of the canal has lost more than half of its capacity due to subsidence – a sinking of the earth from groundwater extraction.

The total project is estimated to cost around $500 million and will eventually restore water delivery to over one million acres of farmland and 250,000 residents in California’s eastern San Joaquin Valley. “Repairing this portion of the Friant-Kern Canal provides significant improvement for the canal’s conveyance capacity and is a key priority for Reclamation and the Central Valley Project,” Reclamation Regional Director Ernest Conant said in a news release.

”We are looking forward to working with FWA and Brosamer & Wall/Tutor Perini Joint Venture to have shovels in the ground by the end of the year – a significant step to providing reliable water supplies to farms and communities throughout the eastern San Joaquin Valley.”

Brosamer & Wall/Tutor Perini Joint Venture was selected through a best-value competitive bid process overseen and managed by Reclamation throughout the summer. Reclamation anticipates a Notice To Proceed for the contractor in November with resulting construction activity beginning by year’s end. Although the contract will be managed by Reclamation, FWA and Reclamation will work jointly with Brosamer & Wall/Tutor Perini Joint Venture to implement construction of the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project.

The work under this contract includes 10 miles of new canal with eight concrete inverted siphons below various structures and creeks along with various concrete turnout structures, and other miscellaneous work.

“After more than four years of work to assess the canal’s problems, develop designs to fix it, and assemble an initial funding and financing package, we are thrilled to take this enormous step toward restoring critical water deliveries that support the San Joaquin Valley’s businesses, communities, and farms,” said Friant Water Authority Chief Executive Officer, Jason Phillips. “FWA looks forward to launching this phase of work with our partners at Reclamation and Brosamer & Wall/Tutor Perini Joint Venture.”

Background

The Friant-Kern Canal delivers water to more than one million acres of highly productive farmland and 250,000 residents. The canal, part of the Central Valley Project’s Friant Division, is owned by the federal government but FWA and its predecessor agency have operated, maintained, and repaired it under contract with Reclamation since 1986.

The canal’s diminished capacity has resulted in up to 300,000 acre-feet of reduced water deliveries in certain water years with effects most prominent in the middle reach of the canal (milepost 88 to milepost 121). The Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project would restore capacity from the current estimated 1,600 cubic-feet-per-second to the original 4,000 cubic-feet-per-second in the most critical area near the Deer Creek check structure (milepost 103). Reclamation signed the Record of Decision for the project in November 2020.




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