The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a contract to a Virginia-based company to repair a dam along the Rio Chama in Northern New Mexico.

The agency announced Friday that the two-phased contract with CARPI USA Inc. is worth up to $16.7 million.

A study determined that El Vado Dam needed to be repaired to reduce seepage and erosion. Repairs will include the installation of a liner on the upstream face of the dam. A separate contract will be awarded later for replacement of the spillway.

The first phase will involve designs and specifications for the project. The second phase will include grouting, repair and prep work prior to installing the liner. Officials say the second phase is subject to the availability of funds.

Water stored at El Vado is used by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District to meet the needs of several pueblos in central New Mexico. The irrigation district will be responsible for 15 percent of the repair costs.

Water operations will continue as usual this year as the Bureau of Reclamation moves toward construction in the latter half of 2021. The first phase of construction is expected to last about a year.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Ann Maes

No company in New Mexico is capable of this project? What recourse do we have to the Federal Gov’t and this Virginia company in the event of repair issues? Just curious.

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