Reclamation Announces $629,047 in Recovery Funding for Water Conveyance Improvements near Ephrata, Wash.

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
William Gray, (509) 754-0214

For Release: December 15, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $629,047 contract for the Potholes Supplemental Feed Route project near Ephrata, Washington under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The contract was awarded to M.J. Hughes Construction, Inc., of Gresham, Oregon on Oct. 19. The worksite is located about 10 miles east of Soap Lake, Washington.

The ARRA funds will be used to modify existing facilities which is a critical step towards allowing Reclamation to route water from Pinto Dam to Potholes Reservoir which is impounded by O'Sullivan Dam about 15 miles south of Moses Lake, Washington. Pinto Dam impounds an off-stream reservoir located north of State Highway 28 in eastern Grant County, Washington. The dam forms Billy Clapp Lake.

Once completed, the Potholes Supplemental Feed Route will ensure an adequate water supply for the south end of the Columbia Basin Project. The project includes construction of an energy dissipater which is a reinforced concrete structure at the end of the outlet conduit for Pinto Dam designed to slow the water down before it enters Brook Lake just below Pinto Dam; shaping and strengthening the stilling basin at the base of Pinto Dam; and construction of a concrete outlet at Brook Lake.

"This construction project will ensure that this vital infrastructure in the Columbia Basin Project continues to operate reliably and will provide benefits for future generations to come," Commissioner Connor said.

The ARRA funds represent an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century. Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures - our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage - while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on and on Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior's Inspector General and ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

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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.

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