Lake Isabella, CA – Isabella Lake Dam (consisting of a Main Dam, Auxiliary Dam and service spillway) is located about 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield in Kern County, California, and became fully operational in 1953. The Main Dam is located near the confluence of the north and south forks of the Kern River and the Auxiliary Dam is located about half a mile east of the Main Dam. The Main Dam is a 185-foot-high earth-fill dam, and the Auxiliary Dam is a 100-foot-high earth-fill dam. The service spillway is located between the two dams. The reservoir (Isabella Lake) has a gross storage capacity of 568,075 acre feet.
- The Phase II Dams and Spillways contractor (Flatiron/Dragados/Sukut Joint Venture, or FDS) continues construction activities. As a result, the site, including Engineers Point, is an active construction area and is off limits to the public to ensure safety.
Looking Ahead (Next 30+ days)
- Reservoir pool levels were lowered to approximately 72,000 acre-feet (2,543 feet elevation) on October 1, 2018, to seal the Borel Canal conduit. USACE is finalizing the required low-water work this month and once completed will remove the water control deviation, allowing lake water management to return to the interim risk reduction restriction of 361,250 acre-feet.
- Construction on SR155 near the Main Dam will continue throughout 2019. The contractor is currently constructing the embankment for the SR155 detour. Traffic is expected to be moved to the detour in spring 2019, which will create delays. USACE will provide updates on expected impacts via public outreach, the monthly SITREP, and the Isabella Task Force.
- FDS has completed five blasts on the emergency spillway so far and will continue blasting through all of 2019 and into 2020. SR 155 will be temporarily closed during blasting operations.
- Work on the Old Isabella, South Fork, and Auxiliary Dam recreation areas will commence in January 2019. This work is limited to Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is required be complete by Memorial Day weekend. While the recreation areas will remain open during construction, some areas within those sites will be off limits to ensure public safety. All facilities, however, will have replacements ready prior to demolishing the existing features.
- USACE continues working on the French Gulch boat launch extension. Work is expected to be complete in mid-January.
Full report located here