The US Bureau of Reclamation has taken steps to reduce seepage and erosion at El Vado Dam in New Mexico by awarding a two-phased contract for up to $16.7 million to Carpi USA Inc. 

USBR’s Safety of Dams Program completed a Corrective Action Study on El Vado Dam – which is a steel-faced, rockfill dam located on the Rio Chama in northern New Mexico –  and recommended modifications and repairs to reduce seepage and erosion inside the dam. 

Repairs will include installation of a geomembrane liner on the upstream face of the dam and eventual replacement of the spillway. 

Phase one of the contract was awarded for $251,000 and will include consultation to support USBR’s Technical Service Center design team to complete designs and specifications of the project. 

The second phase, which will be exercised through a contract option following completion of phase one and appropriate approvals, will include grouting, repair and prep work at the dam prior to installing the membrane liner. 

The second phase is estimated at $16.4 million and is subject to the availability of funds. The government intends to solicit and award one or more additional contracts for spillway replacement; these will be competed and awarded separately.

Water stored at El Vado is used by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District to meet the needs of the Six Middle Rio Grande Pueblos. The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District will be responsible for 15 percent of the cost of repairs. Water operations will continue as usual this year as USBR moves toward construction in the late summer or fall of 2021. The first phase of construction is expected to last about one year.