SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With two months until the expected completion date of the Oroville spillway, officials are confident the work will get done.
The spillway collapsed in February, forcing waters in the reservoir to rise to dangerous levels, ultimately leading to the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.
Since the collapse, crews have been working to rebuild the structure on the largest dam in the United States. And they’ve had to do it on an accelerated timeline.
“We are on schedule to finish reconstructing the main spillway by Nov. 1,” said Erin Mellon, a spokeswoman with DWR.
She says roughly 600 people have been working around the clock demolishing what was left.
The spillway is 3,000 feet long and the width of a 16-lane highway.
With the demolition done, hand crews have gone over every inch of bed rock to make a smooth surface.
“They actually vacuum the rock and power wash it to make sure it's super clean, to make sure the concrete can bond to the rock,” said Mellon.
Two months from the November 1 completion date, new concrete is being laid.
“We're about 25 percent done with placement of structural concrete and that includes rebar,” explained Mellon.
Not much of the 1961 crumbled version of the spillway remains. There is now gravel, concrete and steel being used on the new chute.
“We have brought all of our standards up to 2017 standards to ensure that we don't have any problems again,” said Mellon.