Spillway at Minidoka Dam to be Closed to Public Access During Four-Year Construction Period

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
John Tiedeman, (208) 378-5034

For Release: November 02, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation will close all public access to the entire Minidoka Dam Spillway area and area downstream of the south dike to ensure public safety during a four-year construction period set to run from November 2011 to March 2015.

Record Steel and Construction, Inc. of Meridian, Idaho, was awarded the $21 million contract in September 2011 for the replacement of the spillway and two irrigation headworks at Minidoka Dam, located on the Snake River about 18 miles northeast of Burley, Idaho. Signs will be posted that will clearly identify areas closed to the public. Fishing in the reservoir will still be permitted except during heavy construction periods. However, access to some of the more popular ice fishing locations on the reservoir, just upstream of the spillway, will be less convenient.

"This will be a long construction period, and will be inconvenient at times for those who enjoy fishing, so we ask for the public's patience and that they obey all access restrictions," said Jerrold Gregg, Snake River Area Manager.


- The work includes demolishing the existing 2,237-foot-long pier and stop log structure and replacing it with a new roller-compacted concrete spillway structure with new spillway gates.

- The project will replace deteriorating concrete that is over 100 years old, has increasingly difficult reliability and maintenance problems, and is constantly in need of repairs. These repairs will allow Reclamation to continue to meet its contractual obligations for water delivery, power generation, and compliance with the Endangered Species Act. - Minidoka Dam was constructed in 1906 as part of the Minidoka Project.

- Minidoka Dam is operated as one of six storage facilities on the Snake and Henrys Fork rivers. The multi-purpose project provides irrigation, power production, flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.

For more information, please contact Mr. John Tiedeman, Activity Manager, at (208) 378-5034 or Mr. Larry Hieb, Facility O&M Manager, at (208) 678-0461 ext 20.

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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 www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.