Another year will pass before an earthen dam will begin to rise from the valley floor near Hailstone Junction, but Jordanelle Dam construction is in its second season, and the landscape will continue to change throughout the summer.
Bureau of Reclamation officials expect existing contract work on the $400 million dam project will continue through the 1988 construction season with the contract for the actual dam construction to be negotiated in April or May of 1989, said Merrill Gunderson, chief of the bureau's contract administration branch.Highway relocation began in 1987 on segments of U.S. 40 and U.S. 189 that will be inundated by the 3,068-acre reservoir. A date has yet to be set on a contract for a new Wasatch County road that will connect U.S. 40 and Francis. The Utah Department of Transportation has called the three separate highway contracts already let "one of the largest earth-moving jobs in recent UDOT history."
Ongoing highway contracts total more than $50 million.
When finished, the dam will be able to capture 320,300 acre-feet of Provo River water for use along the Wasatch Front, mostly in Salt Lake County. The bureau has set a 1995 completion date, assuming annual appropriations from Congress continue in amounts large enough to keep the project on schedule.
Torno America Inc., of San Francisco, began working on the $13 million contract to excavate the dam abutments and foundation last June and is still ahead of schedule, said Kirt Carpenter, bureau project manager. The company moved an average of 11,000 yards of earth each day last summer and will spend the entire 1988 construction season excavating a barrow area and separating materials that will be stockpiled for use in the dam.
Engineers and consultants are in the advanced stages of designing the dam structure, but an engineer's estimate of the cost of the dam contract has yet to be determined. A number of contractors have already shown an interest in winning the contract to actually build the dam.
The dam has been on the drawing board for the past 25 years, but now that it is finally under construction, landowners are actively trying to win approval from the bureau, state and county officials to develop condominium resorts and recreational areas adjacent to the reservoir.
The bureau has also cleared an observation area north of the exposed abutments on the west side of U.S. 40 where visitors have a vista of the entire valley around Hailstone Junction and can also see most of the construction activity. Carpenter said signs directing traffic to the observation area will be placed soon.