Bureau of Reclamation Begins Dam Modification Work at Steinaker Reservoir in Northeastern Utah

Media Contact: Andrew Kirby, 801-379-1161, akirby@usbr.gov
Marlon Duke, 801-524-3774, mduke@usbr.gov

For Release: August 13, 2018

VERNAL, UTAH – In late July, the Bureau of Reclamation began modification work at Steinaker Dam, near Vernal, Utah to repair a slope failure on the upstream face of the right abutment and flatten the slope of the abutment. Reclamation and the Uintah Water Conservancy District slowly emptied Steinaker Reservoir during the summer recreation season to enable modification work. Restricted operations have been in place at the dam since 2014, when dam operators observed the slope failure. Once work is complete, Reclamation anticipates a return to full and normal operations.

The dam, which is owned by Reclamation and operated by the Uintah Water Conservancy District, provides off-stream water storage from Ashley Creek and is an important feature of the Central Utah Project. In addition to its primary water storage benefits, the reservoir also provides excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. While water levels will remain low throughout construction, Steinaker State Park will remain open with a variety of recreational opportunities. Visitors should check with Utah State Parks (https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/steinaker/) for available activities and park hours.

Work will result in a safer facility that will better serve water users and protect the surrounding community. Through a cost share under Reclamation’s Dam Safety Program, the federal government will cover 85 percent of modification costs and the Uintah Water Conservancy District will pay 15 percent. Reclamation previously awarded a contract for the majority of the work to Weeminuche Construction Authority, which is owned by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. Reclamation engineers will oversee and inspect all construction work, which will continue year-round and is expected to be complete in 2020.

“Safety is a top priority at each of our facilities,” said Reclamation’s Provo Area Office Manager Wayne Pullan. “This important infrastructure improvement project will ensure safe and efficient operations at Steinaker Dam for water users, visitors and the surrounding community for generations to come.” Reclamation’s Provo Area Office oversees all federally-owned water projects in Utah.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.