Capital Branch Speaker Lunch

February 27, 2018
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
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Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J. Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Capital Branch Speaker Meeting

Topic: Lake Isabella Dam Improvements
Speaker: Henri Mulder, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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Isabella Dam is located on the Kern River 34 miles upstream of the City of Bakersfield in Kern County, California.  It was constructed by and currently operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Construction of Isabella Dam began in 1948 and was completed in 1953 and consists of two embankment dams that provide flood control, water supply, power generation and recreation benefits to the region.  The USACE initiated a dam safety study of the project in 2005.  The study identified many failure modes involving seismic (fault rupture and liquefaction), seepage and piping, and hydrologic overtopping.  The failure modes presented unacceptable risk to public safety and resulted in a designation as a Dam Safety Action Class (DSAC) I project by the USACE, requiring action to reduce probabilities of failure and associated consequences.  Modifications to the embankment dams, spillway, and appurtenant structures have been designed to reduce risk of dam failure.  A construction contract was awarded in September 2017 for construction of the dam safety modifications with construction expected to begin in early 2018.  The presentation will cover a background of the project, the dam safety issues and potential failure modes, and the modifications to the project to reduce risk of dam failure. 

About the speaker:

Henri Mulder is a senior civil engineer (geotechnical) with the Sacramento District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  He has 20 years of experience in geotechnical engineering on USACE civil works projects.  Mr. Mulder’s experience includes site investigations, geotechnical evaluation and design, construction, inspection, and emergency flood fighting of earth dams and levees.  He has inspected dams from the State of Hawaii to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  He has served as the Geotechnical Lead for the Isabella Dam Safety Project for ten years and will serve as Embankment Engineer during construction of the dam safety modifications.  Mr. Mulder graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from CSU Sacramento and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California.