Kicking Horse Dam Safety Upgrades

Project Overview

Part 1: Kicking Horse Dam and outlet works were constructed in 1930 along with two dikes. The safety upgrades address the aging infrastructure to current industry standards, including hydrology, hydraulics, structural, mechanical, geotechnical, and seismic. Safety of Dams is coordinating with the Charlo Planning Area for evaluation of potential benefits to the irrigation system. 

Part 2: Through an Issue Evaluation level risk analysis that was performed evaluating baseline static, hydrologic, and seismic risks posed by potential failure modes, certain risks have been identified for Kicking Horse Dam resulting in increased justification to take risk reduction action. This includes installation of a cement bentonite cutoff wall along the entire length of the dam, removal and replacement of the existing outlet works, toe drain installation, realignment of the G-Canal Lateral, and raising low spots in the dam crest. Modifications are in a feasibility design state. Extensive measures have been and will continue to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts of construction on the wetlands and native prairies located on the site.  

The project will require compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to waters and wetlands that are regulated by the CSKT Shoreline Protection Program through ALCO (87A) and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) through the Clean Water Act, section 404. The Division of Engineering and Water Resources (DEWR) is currently undertaking a feasibility analyses to understand what onsite restoration opportunities exist.

Workflow Timeline

Part 1:

  • Design: Final Design anticipated to be complete in 2024-2025. 
  • Construction : TBD

Part 2:

  • Construction: 2026
Project Team
  • CSKT
  • BIA
  • Design Consultant: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Contractor: TBD
Status Update
  • Final design of Part 1 is progressing while coordinating with environmental elements and the Charlo Planning area. 
  • Feasibility design of Part 2 is progressing and design alternatives should be presented October 2023.
  • NEPA compliance is in the early stages for Part 2. 

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