The US Bureau of Reclamation has begun 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.
USBR 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, USBR anticipates a return to full and normal operations.
The dam, which is owned by USBR 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 fishing and recreational opportunities.
Through a cost share under USBR’s Dam Safety Program, the federal government will cover 85% of modification costs and the Uintah Water Conservancy District will pay 15%. USBR previously awarded a contract for the majority of the work to Weeminuche Construction Authority, which is owned by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. USBR engineers will oversee and inspect all construction work, which will continue year-round and is expected to be complete in 2020.