Namoi Valley Independent Newspaper

Keepit project milestone

Stage 2 of the Keepit Dam Safety Upgrade Project is moving full steam ahead, with preliminary electrical works reaching the halfway mark.

Preliminary electrical works at the Keepit Dam wall have reached the halfway mark as part of Stage 2 of the dam safety upgrade project.

Construction of the $2.2 million works are necessary so that electrical equipment can be relocated downstream, before strengthening of the dam wall can begin.

The work, known as post tensioning, involves inserting cable through the dam wall into the bedrock to make it stronger.

It will also allow for the raising of the wall to just over three metres.

Project manager Nava Jeyachandran said to date the contractors Ryan Wilks Pty Ltd had established their site, completed trenching works, commenced light and power upgrade works and started construction on a new building for the switchboard.

“Stage two of the upgrade follows the successfully completed stage one which involved construction of three saddle dams and two new spillways,” Mr Jeyachandran said.

“Keepit is one of seven dams State Water is upgrading to enable them to safely pass extreme floods, the largest floods considered statistically possible of occurring in the region.

“Contractors Ryan Wilks Pty Ltd have sourced electrical supplies, earthmoving and plumbing services from Tamworth representing a direct investment in the region’s economy of approximately $500,000 to date.

“Work is being carried out in line with the review of environmental factors report and includes noise and dust mitigation measures.”

The project will not affect access to the recreation area and will not impact the permanent storage capacity of the dam.

The water level of the storage will also not be impacted by the project.

State Water said the preliminary works are scheduled for completion late this year, with post tensioning works expected to start in mid-2015 ahead of the dam wall raising works.

The state government announced in its budget last month that $6 million would be spent on raising the dam wall at Keepit Dam to ensure it would withstand extreme floods and earthquakes.

The funding is part of Stage 2 of a major dam safety upgrade announced by the state government four years ago to make Keepit fully compliant with NSW Dams Safety Committee standards.

The entire dam project will cost more than $146 million and is expected to be completed in 2016.

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