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Largest Bay Area dam built in 20 years is finally finished

The Mercury news   21 September 2018   USA   California  

SUNOL — After toiling away in the remote hills east of Interstate 680 on the Alameda-Santa Clara county line for seven years, hundreds of construction workers have finally finished the largest dam built in the Bay Area in 20 years.

The 220-foot tall dam at Calaveras Reservoir — as high as the roadway on the Golden Gate Bridge soars above San Francisco Bay — replaces a dam of the same size, built in 1925.  State dam inspectors flagged the older dam in 2001 as at risk of collapse in a major earthquake on the nearby Calaveras Fault. If it had failed, state officials estimated it could have sent a 30-foot wall of water into Fremont and neighboring communities, potentially killing thousands of people.

The new dam, a tightly compacted earth-and-rock structure a quarter-mile wide at its base, can withstand a 7.25 magnitude quake on the Calaveras Fault, engineers say.

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