The cost to rebuild the structurally deficient Anderson Dam in Santa Clara County, California, has tripled in cost from the estimated price tag two years ago.
According to an article in The Mercury News, district engineers originally said the project to bring the reservoir to modern seismic standards would cost $648 million. In January 2022, the cost jumped to $1.2 billion.
Now as the design approaches 90% completion, engineers say the new $2.3 billion price tag includes $1.9 billion for the new dam, and another $400 million for a new outlet tunnel and other associated projects.
In a recent meeting, engineers pointed to two factors for the jump in cost: the first is state and federal officials requiring the concrete spillway to be longer and deeper than their original proposal, adding about $75 million. Also contributing to the cost is increase are labor and materials, including concrete and steel.
Driving up most of the cost increase is labor shortage and the cost of materials from concrete to steel.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District board is likely to consider higher water rates in the coming months to make up the cost to repair the 240-foot-high dam, according to the report.
The report cited John Varela, board chairman as saying the project must be finished.
“It’s unfortunate. It’s a sign of our times,” Varela was quoted as saying. “We have to bite the bullet and stay on the project, on the time scale. We have to do it. Anderson is the single largest dam in our system.”