Reclamation Announces $1.58 Million in ARRA Funding to Replace Key Canal Structure near Yuma, Arizona

Media Contact: Doug Hendrix , (928) 343-8145

For Release: May 06, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Department of the Interior, has awarded a $1.58 million contract to Rafael Construction, Inc., of Las Vegas under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The contractor will use the funding to replace an existing wasteway/diversion structure on a concrete-lined canal known as the Main Outlet Drain (MOD) that carries saline irrigation drainage waters from near Yuma, Ariz. The MOD is an integral part of the system of drainage wells and conveyance structures Reclamation uses to control salinity levels in the lower Colorado River. The wasteway/diversion structure allows Reclamation to release drainage flows from this canal into the Gila River, so the lower sections of the canal or other related structures can be dried out and repaired when necessary.

"Water infiltration and concrete degradation have caused this structure to deteriorate to the point where it needs to be completely replaced," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "Without replacement, it could potentially fail at some point in the future," he added.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was enacted in 2009 provided $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.

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.