BILLINGS, Mont. — The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $43,599,090 contract to NW Construction out of Bozeman, Montana to conduct a dam modification to Fresno Dam. Project construction is scheduled to begin in April 2023. The Tailwater Fishing Access Site will be closed to public access once construction starts.
Built in 1939 on the Milk River in north-central Montana, the 84-year-old homogenous embankment earth dam has experienced 7‐10 feet of settlement since construction. Reclamation evaluated the risk associated with differential settlement‐driven cracking and internal erosion and determined that a modification was required. To mitigate the risk, Reclamation will add a sand and gravel filter and toe drain system, with an embankment fill overlay and a vertical sand filter trench.
Fresno Dam, located on the Milk River 14 miles west of Havre, Montana, is a compacted earthfill dam with a structural height of 110 feet and a crest length of 2,070 feet. It contains 2,105,000 cubic yards of material. An overflow-type spillway at the north end of the dam provides for a flow of 51,360 cubic feet per second through the concrete-lined channel. The outlet works discharge a maximum of 2,500 cubic feet per second through two 72-inch steel pipe conduits. A conservation storage of 91,746 acre-feet is impounded in Fresno Reservoir. Project benefits include irrigation and municipal water supply, fish and wildlife enhancement, flood control, and recreation. For project updates please visit www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/fresno/index.html.