A contract award is expected by September with construction beginning later this year. Major construction activities are expected to take place over at least two years.

The repair will include the excavation of the downstream face of the embankment and installation of a filter and drain system. The embankment will then be reconstructed by replacing the excavated material over the filter and drain system.

USBR has established a Web page at www.usbr.gov/gp/nkao/redwillow/ to provide the most up-to-date information available. Users can register at USBR’s site to receive email or text updates as new information becomes available.

Red Willow Dam, located on Red Willow Creek about 11 miles north of McCook, is an earthfill embankment with a structural height of 126ft that forms a reservoir with a capacity of 85,070 acre-feet of water. An ungated concrete spillway is located in the right abutment of the dam. An outlet works through the base of the dam provides for river and irrigation releases for downstream diversions. The reservoir behind this dam is Hugh Butler Lake.

Repair work became necessary at the dam as a result of the discovery of cracking in the dam embankment in October 2009.