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Oroville Dam Transmission Line Permanent Reroute Project

Barnard’s Electric Transmission Group assisted the California DWR as DWR addresses several key issues that arose when failure of the main spillway and erosion at the head of Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway raised concerns that spillway failure could cause uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville. DWR contracted with our Barnard team to address two existing double-circuit 230kV lines that traversed the Oroville Dam. Erosion of the spillway put the lower line in jeopardy. Barnard, teaming with Stantec Engineering, first constructed a temporary shoofly line to maintain power generation and water release at the base of the dam. After constructing the temporary shoofly line, the Team worked under an Engineer Procure Construct (EPC) arrangement on a permanent replacement solution, one that moved the transmission line out of harm’s way.

In response to the critical nature of the work, Barnard had a team onsite one day after initial contact with DWR and its Design Engineer Stantec. Our equipment arrived within three days and many key materials arrived within one week. Procurement of the roughly 500,000 lbs. of steel needed to construct 22 towers on two foundation types occurred concurrently with design progression that took the 13,500 LF of rerouting from the base of the dam across the Feather River three times before reuniting with existing lines that serve the dam’s hydroelectric power generation facility. This high profile effort was constructed in a nonlinear sequence to accommodate bird nesting season and required strict attention to care of water. The project required coordination onsite with myriad agency and government representatives, contractors on concurrent efforts, a highly interested public, and national and international media coverage.

Oroville Dam Transmission Line Permanent Reroute Project

Power Transmission Business Development

Jerry Askin
p: (406) 586-1995 x218

Rick Hollenbaugh
p: (406) 586-1995 x264


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