Reclamation Selects Roadway Bridge as Preferred Alternative for Palisades Dam Security Enhancement

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Chris Ketchum, (208) 678-0461 ext. 34

For Release: March 25, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation has selected the construction of a roadway bridge downstream of Palisades Dam as the preferred alternative outlined in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Palisades Dam Security Enhancement Project. Palisades Dam is located on the Snake River about 70 miles east of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Reclamation is issuing a FONSI describing the construction of a new bridge as the preferred action alternative after careful review of public and agency comments, and considering all of the potential security and environmental impacts that were in the Draft EA. Reclamation has also determined that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Reclamation's Snake River Area Office distributed the Draft EA for public review and comment on January 26, 2011, the comment period closed February 25, 2011, with 12 comments received.

The Draft EA addressed alternatives to correct security vulnerabilities related to motor vehicles traveling across the top of the dam and analyzed the impacts of five alternatives including a no action alternative.

Construction for the bridge is estimated to cost about $3.7 million and take about 8 months to complete, beginning in October 2011 through May 2012. Construction on the piers and bridge deck will take place between November 2011 and March 2012, when boater use is at its lowest.

Palisades Dam was constructed by Reclamation in 1957 as part of the Palisades Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides irrigation, flood control, hydropower, and recreation.

For more information, contact Robert "Hap" Boyer, Upper Snake Field Office, 1359 Hansen Avenue, Burley ID 83318-1821 or call (208) 678-0461 ext 15. A copy of the FONSI and Final EA is available online at

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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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