Nevada Irrigation District hears cost estimate, timeline for Centennial Dam project |

Nevada Irrigation District hears cost estimate, timeline for Centennial Dam project

Recent estimates for the price of the Centennial Dam call for $256 million in construction costs, an amount that doesn’t include land purchases, engineering and a handful of other items.

Nevada Irrigation District directors on Wednesday heard from Michael Forrest, project manager on Centennial, who said construction on the dam will take about two-and-a-half years. He estimated NID could meet that timeline with two shifts working six days a week, with no overly restrictive constraints on trucking materials to the site.

Forrest, vice president of the company Aecom, said a low estimate for construction is $217 million, with the high climbing to $307 million. The midrange is $256 million.

Fielding audience questions, Forrest said the estimate is for construction costs only.

Other costs include a new Dog Bar Road bridge, estimated at $54 million. NID already has spent over $4 million on land purchases. Another $8.9 million is earmarked for other costs, partly for a cultural resources assessment.

Officials gave no grand total for the Centennial project during Wednesday’s meeting.

“That is a confusing point,” said Traci Sheehan, coordinator of the Foothills Water Network. “At this point, it just looks like piecemealing the cost.”

Sheehan also questioned the construction timeline, saying directors should know the project is politically charged and that legal challenges could appear.

Other meeting attendees speaking during public comment questioned the need for the dam.

Dianna Suarez asked if directors had examined alternatives to the dam, like underground storage.

“This has been going on for three years now,” she said.

Alternatives are expected to be part of ongoing environmental reviews by state and federal officials. Both reports likely are months away from completion.

The Centennial project, which would impact 2,200 acres on the Bear River, would put a reservoir between the existing Combie and Rollins reservoirs.

NID has pointed to climate change and future water needs as reasons for the dam. Detractors fear the dam will negatively impact the river and destroy indigenous cultural sites.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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