Reclamation Issues Plans and Specifications for Red Willow Dam Repair

Media Contact: Craig Scott, (308) 345-1030
Terri Salter, (308) 389-5306

For Release: July 21, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation advertised plans and specifications for the repair of Red Willow Dam on July 5. The bid opening date is tentatively scheduled for August 9. A contract award is expected by September with construction beginning later this year. Major construction activities are expected to take place over at least 2 years.

The repair will include the excavation of the downstream face of the embankment and installation of a filter and drain system. The embankment will then be reconstructed by replacing the excavated material over the filter and drain system.

Reclamation has established a Web page at to provide the public with the most up-to-date information available. Users can register at Reclamation's site to receive email or text updates as new information becomes available.

Red Willow Dam, located on Red Willow Creek about 11 miles north of McCook, is an earthfill embankment with a structural height of 126 feet that forms a reservoir with a capacity of 85,070 acre-feet of water. An ungated concrete spillway is located in the right abutment of the dam. An outlet works through the base of the dam provides for river and irrigation releases for downstream diversions. The reservoir behind this dam is Hugh Butler Lake.

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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.

Relevant Link:

Nebraska-Kansas Area Office Home Page