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San Clemente Dam Removal Passes Milestones

San Clemente Dam Removal Passes Milestones

County Planning Commission Approves Permits

$61 Million Construction Contract Awarded to Granite Construction

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Monterey County Planning commission approved California American Water’s San Clemente dam removal plan on Wednesday. With this vote, the company obtained the last of the major permits it needs to begin construction, which is set to commence later this summer. California American Water also announced that Watsonville-based Granite Construction has been selected as the contractor to lead the work on the project.

The county’s approval comes after the company and its project partners negotiated an agreement with affected residents on construction traffic routes.

“This is the final component of regulatory permitting we needed to proceed with this important project that is a unique partnership between the community and local, state and federal government,” said California American Water President Robert MacLean. “We can now move forward to taking down the dam and restoring the Carmel River back to its original state.”

Over a three-year construction schedule, the Carmel River will be rerouted 1/2 mile to bypass the sediment and as the final step, the dam will be removed. California American Water will donate the 928-acre property where the dam is located to the Bureau of Land Management. The project area adjoins two regional parks, creating over 5,400 acres of combined open space available for hiking and passive recreation.

Removing the San Clemente Dam will restore access to 25 miles of spawning and rearing habitat, critical to the South Central California Coast Steelhead’s recovery. Restoring the river’s ecological connectivity will also benefit other threatened species like the California red-legged frog. Enabling sediment to move past the dam will also help replenish sand supply to Carmel River beach and dunes, fortifying the beach and coastal area against sea level rise.

The company awarded Granite Construction Company with the design-build contract for the removal and river re-route valued at $61 million.

Granite was selected among eight firms that responded to the company’s initial request for qualifications released in October of 2011. Applicants were evaluated according to their proposed project cost and schedule as well as by their experience and technical capability.

“Granite brought some creative ideas to the table,” said California American Water Director of Engineering, Rich Svindland. “Their experience, expertise and construction price made them the best firm for the job.”

“We’re proud to have been selected for this innovative project, which solves a safety issue for the community and benefits the Carmel River and its wildlife,” said Granite’s President and Chief Executive Officer, James H. Roberts.

The estimated project construction cost is $83 million. Forty-nine million dollars is being recovered from water customers and $34 million will come from the State Coastal Conservancy, which will raise its portion of the funding from various state, federal and private sources. The removal project increased the average residential customer bill by $2.54 a month. Groundbreaking on the project will commence later this year and completion is expected in 2015.

California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK  ) , provides high quality and reliable water and/or wastewater service to approximately 600,000 people.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting

California American Water
Catherine Bowie, 831-646-3208
Mobile: 831-241-2990

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California


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