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Firms awarded Stimulus-funded dam-safety contracts

Plymouth Meeting, Pa. — Six firms were selected to perform professional services related to dam safety assessment, design, design review, and construction management, funded at least in part through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Contract awardees are AMEC, Gannett Fleming, HDR, Kleinfelder, URS, and Black & Veatch.


The combined maximum total for all six awardees is $60 million. Including options, the contract will run five years and involve projects within the 48 contiguous states plus Alaska. The contract is with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“This win is a reflection of our extensive dam-safety capabilities and experience that includes projects in the Southwest with flood-control structures, in the East for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and in the Midwest involving dams and levees,” said Brett Howey, project administrator and engineer with AMEC’s Earth & Environmental division, which is headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. and operates more than 80 offices in the United States.

The NRCS is responsible for providing technical assistance to entities of state and local governmental and tribes for planning and installing watershed projects under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act. Another major program is the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, which undertakes emergency measures for runoff control and soil erosion prevention to safeguard lives and property.

At least 300 and as many as 800 dam assessments are anticipated, with the work involving such elements as breach inundation mapping, failure and risk index computations, and the identification of rehabilitation alternatives. Design tasks may involve anything from engineering investigations to the development of rehabilitation construction plans and specifications. The work may involve structural, civil, geotechnical, hydraulic, and environmental engineering, as well as construction management.

Because of the ARRA stimulus funding, consultants must be ready to begin performance within 10 calendar days of the contract award. Consultants must provide a quick turnaround on proposals for task orders, and must complete typical dam assessments within six months and typical design reviews within six weeks, with as many as 20 simultaneous task orders.