News Release Archive

Reclamation Awards Contract to Decommission Red Bluff Diversion Dam on the Sacramento River

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer, 916-978-5100, 09/27/2013 12:19

For Release: September 27, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $3.28 million contract to
E.C. Smith Inc. of Anderson, Calif., for the decommissioning of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on the Sacramento River – a final milestone in completion of a major project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

E.C. Smith Inc. will permanently brace the diversion dam’s 11 gates in the fully raised position and salvage the various pumping features, piping and associated equipment. In addition, the company will modify the existing fish ladders to prevent fish entrapment during high water periods. Work will also include salvaging the fish screens from the Tehama-Colusa Canal and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities, located south of the dam. The dam will not be removed.

“This is the final stage of what is one of the most significant measures being implemented to improve fish passage in the Sacramento River and marks the final stages of the successful completion of the Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project,” said Commissioner Michael L. Connor. “With $113 million in Recovery Act funding, the project ensures continued Central Valley Project water deliveries to 150,000 acres of high-value farmland while providing a safe passage for fish.”

The diversion dam’s gates used to be lowered to provide gravity diversion of irrigation water from the river into the Tehama-Colusa and Corning canals which created an impediment to migrating fish. The fish passage improvement project involved construction of a new screened pumping plant to protect fish. The new facility began operation in May 2012.

The $180 million in funding for the project included $113 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the largest single outlay of ARRA funding in the nation by the Department of the Interior. For information on the project, please visit

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