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Southern Oregon's Howard Prairie Dam To Get Seismic Retrofit

The Howard Prairie Dam.

The Howard Prairie Dam.

Courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The dam that creates Howard Prairie Lake will get a seismic retrofit over the next year to boost its chances of surviving a large earthquake should one rock Oregon’s southern Cascades.

A Portland firm has won a $5.9 million contract to beef up a large portion of the 1,040-foot-long earthen dam that is not actually resting on bedrock like the rest of it does, according to its owner, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Those portions of the 100-foot-tall dam base sit on 10 to 14 feet of stream bed “that could liquify during an earthquake and all slide out,” said Chris Regilski, the bureau’s regional dam-safety coordinator.

“The overall risks are higher than we’d accept,” Regilski said.

Read the whole story at the Ashland Daily Tidings.

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