$2 Million Contract Awarded To Upgrade Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Arrival Center

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Craig Sprankle , (509) 633-9503

For Release: August 06, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $2.3 million construction contract for modifications to Grand Coulee Dams Visitor Arrival Center located in eastern Washington. The building is being retrofitted to meet current seismic safety standards.

Macro-Z Technology, from Santa Ana, California, was awarded the contract on July 15, 2004.

"By making these changes, we will ensure that the thousands who visit this project annually will have a safe environment and a quality experience at Grand Coulee Dam," said Reclamation Commissioner John W. Keys.

The Center, built in the early 1970s, was designed by Marcel Breuer, an architect noted for Bauhaus era of design techniques. It is a circular structure composed of 31 interlocking, precast concrete wall and roof sections supported by a single central column.

The construction project includes placing three concrete rings around the structure. One ring will be placed on the exterior at the base and two additional rings will be placed around the interior. The roof also will be strengthened and reinforced. Designs for the project were prepared by CH2M Hill Inc., Boise, Idaho.

The center will close for the work beginning September 7, but information and tours of the dam will continue to be available from the information building in the Town of Coulee Dam. The Center will reopen by Memorial Day 2005. For information on visiting Grand Coulee Dam, contact Reclamation at (509) 622-9265.

Grand Coulee Dam is located on the Columbia River and serves as the centerpiece of Reclamations Columbia Basin Project, where it provides water for irrigating more than 600,000 acres of land. It is North America s largest hydroelectric facility, producing an average of 20 billion kWh every month/year.

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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.