San Clemente Dam Removal Passes Milestones
County Planning Commission Approves Permits
$61 Million Construction Contract Awarded to Granite Construction
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. -- May 09, 2013
The Monterey County Planning commission approved California American Water’s
San Clemente dam removal plan on Wednesday. With this vote, the company
obtained the last of the major permits it needs to begin construction, which
is set to commence later this summer. California American Water also announced
that Watsonville-based Granite Construction has been selected as the
contractor to lead the work on the project.
The county’s approval comes after the company and its project partners
negotiated an agreement with affected residents on construction traffic
“This is the final component of regulatory permitting we needed to proceed
with this important project that is a unique partnership between the community
and local, state and federal government,” said California American Water
President Robert MacLean. “We can now move forward to taking down the dam and
restoring the Carmel River back to its original state.”
Over a three-year construction schedule, the Carmel River will be rerouted 1/2
mile to bypass the sediment and as the final step, the dam will be removed.
California American Water will donate the 928-acre property where the dam is
located to the Bureau of Land Management. The project area adjoins two
regional parks, creating over 5,400 acres of combined open space available for
hiking and passive recreation.
Removing the San Clemente Dam will restore access to 25 miles of spawning and
rearing habitat, critical to the South Central California Coast Steelhead’s
recovery. Restoring the river’s ecological connectivity will also benefit
other threatened species like the California red-legged frog. Enabling
sediment to move past the dam will also help replenish sand supply to Carmel
River beach and dunes, fortifying the beach and coastal area against sea level
The company awarded Granite Construction Company with the design-build
contract for the removal and river re-route valued at $61 million.
Granite was selected among eight firms that responded to the company’s initial
request for qualifications released in October of 2011. Applicants were
evaluated according to their proposed project cost and schedule as well as by
their experience and technical capability.
“Granite brought some creative ideas to the table,” said California American
Water Director of Engineering, Rich Svindland. “Their experience, expertise
and construction price made them the best firm for the job.”
“We’re proud to have been selected for this innovative project, which solves a
safety issue for the community and benefits the Carmel River and its
wildlife,” said Granite’s President and Chief Executive Officer, James H.
The estimated project construction cost is $83 million. Forty-nine million
dollars is being recovered from water customers and $34 million will come from
the State Coastal Conservancy, which will raise its portion of the funding
from various state, federal and private sources. The removal project increased
the average residential customer bill by $2.54 a month. Groundbreaking on the
project will commence later this year and completion is expected in 2015.
California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK),
provides high quality and reliable water and/or wastewater service to
approximately 600,000 people.
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and
wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company
employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking
water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people
in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be
found by visiting www.californiaamwater.com
California American Water
Catherine Bowie, 831-646-3208
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