Geotechnical specialty engineering and construction contractor, Nicholson Construction, is to perform several techniques as part of a project to rehabilitate El Vado dam in New Mexico, US.

The 92-year-old, 230ft (70m) high dam is one of the only steel faceplated dams in the country. It is currently undergoing an extensive repair program to improve dam safety and reduce water losses by the US Bureau of Reclamation.

Nicholson was subcontracted by Carpi USA to perform the backfill grouting of voids beneath the existing steel liner plate covering the upstream face of the dam’s embankment. The scope of work also includes the construction of a two-line grout curtain on the dam’s left abutment.

The dam stores water for irrigation in the Middle Rio Grand Conservancy District, which includes six pueblos, and provides critical flood protection for downstream residents. The reservoir also, at times, provides additional drinking water for the cities of Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

“We’re very proud to join projects like El Vado Dam,” said Nigel Miller, Regional Manager of Nicholson’s Rocky Mountain Group. “Being part of the process of ensuring that communities have reliable irrigation and drinking water is extremely important to us as at every level of our company.”

Nicholson’s work on the project will be completed in the Fall of 2023.