Reclamation Awards Contract to Weeminuche Construction Authority for Critical Components of Ridges Basin Dam

Media Contact: Ken Beck, (970) 385-6558

For Release: September 08, 2003

(DURANGO, CO) - The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that it has awarded Weeminuche Construction Authority (WCA) with a $2.3 million contract for construction of certain features for the Ridges Basin Dam. This work (Ridges Basin Dam 2003 Construction Tasks) is considered critical in meeting the overall construction schedule for the Animas-La Plata Project.

Included in the contract, are: 1. Construction of key sediment retention structures on Basin Creek. 2. Excavation of the Dam's right abutment above the existing stream level. 3. Construction of a ravine dam just downstream of the Dam's right abutment. This is necessary to ultimately protect the future embankment of the Dam. 4. Installation of a construction water delivery system to the dam and reservoir site. 5. Construction of additional segments of a haul road for constructing Ridges Basin Dam. 6. Completion of this contract is an important step in keeping the construction of Ridges  Basin Dam on schedule (Dam Completion - April 2008). Reclamation anticipates that  WCA will accomplish this contract outlined above between July and September 2003.

WCA, based in Towaoc, Colorado, is a minority commercial construction company that is owned and operated by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. WCA, has extensive experience in all phases of construction and related engineering disciplines, including: oil and gas field construction, residential and commercial buildings, heavy construction, road building, canals and water systems, sand and gravel and municipal improvements.

Sky Ute Sand and Gravel, a wholly owned enterprise of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, was selected to provide some of the materials for construction. Sky Ute Sand and Gravel was recently established and currently supplies ready mix concrete and road surfacing materials in the Four Corners area.

The Animas-La Plata Project fulfills the requirements of the 1988 Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement Act and the Colorado Ute Settlement Act Amendment of 2000. The project will provide the Southern Ute Indian and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes with a reliable water supply for their future needs, while protecting scarce water resources for existing water users in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico.

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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.