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U.S. says Red Willow Dam report expected by late 2010

The Bureau of Reclamation has issued an update on the activities concerning Safety of Dams (SOD) issues at Red Willow Dam in Nebraska.

In October 2009, Reclamation crews discovered a sinkhole on the face of the dam. Subsequent investigations revealed cracking through the embankment, which prompted Reclamation to draw down Hugh Butler Lake, which is impounded by Red Willow Dam.

In February 2010, Reclamation initiated a Corrective Action Study to develop and analyze alternatives for the repair of Red Willow Dam. Reclamation expects to select a preferred alternative this fall. Next, a modification report will be prepared and submitted to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress for consideration in early 2011.

Reclamation estimates that a contract to begin modification of Red Willow could be expected as soon as late 2011. If the necessary requirements are met for this project, funds that are annually appropriated through Reclamation's Safety of Dams Program would likely be available to complete the necessary repairs.

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