Reclamation to Install Security Gates at Palisades Dam

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Chris Ketchum, (208) 678-0461 x34

For Release: August 14, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation will begin installation of vehicle fixed beam barrier gates at Palisades Dam and Powerplant on August 17. Palisades Dam is located on the south fork of the Snake River, about 55 miles southeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

A total of four gates will be installed with one gate at the main entrance to the facility, one gate on each end of the road across the crest of the dam, and one gate at the downstream road that leads to the powerplant. Disruption to traffic crossing the dam during construction is expected to be minimal.

The purpose of the gates on top of the dam is to temporarily restrict access to the facility if there is a specific hazard or threat to the facility. At all other times, the gates on top of the dam will continue to remain open. The gates at the main entrance and the gates leading to the powerplant will remain closed.

The gates are part of a long-term goal to implement corrective actions for operational contingency and safety at three Federal dams in Idaho, with minimal inconvenience to the public. The other facilities that have been identified as requiring similar measures are Anderson Ranch Dam, located on the south fork of the Boise River, about 28 miles northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho; and the Lower and Upper Embankments of Deer Flat Dams near Nampa, Idaho. Meetings have been held at cities near each of the locations to inform the public about the enhanced capability measures.

Long-term measures to permanently address operational and safety measures will be explored in collaboration with the public, county governments, the U.S. Forest Service, and other affected agencies.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.