Infrastructure worries grow in US: Anderson Dam

(photo from weather.com)

The average integrity score for infrastructure soundness in the US is a low score of D Amidst the worry, federal government ordered Anderson Reservoir in Santa Clara County, California to be completely drained from October 1, 2020, due to rising concerns of the dam failing, both from its age, upkeep, and the earthquake.

Anderson Reservoir, which is less than 20 miles southeast of San Jose, sits alongside the Calaveras Fault. More than 10 years ago, according to the San Jose Mercury News, an engineering consultant warned that a 6.6 magnitude quake centered on the fault directly at the reservoir, or a 7.2 quake centered one mile away, could cause the dam to fail.

Built in 1950, the dam is a 240-foot damn located between Morgan Hill and San Jose. Generally kept at around half full, but in 2017, extensive rain filled up the reservoir quickly, creating heightened concerns for the areas nearby San Jose and even San Fransisco bay area too.

When this dam built in 1950s, the bedrock was not solid and it was some sand and gravel under it, which it could more liquefy in a big earthquake, leading the dam to slump and fail.

This reconstruction cost estimated is now $563 million and was scheduled to begin in 2022.

The problem is they can’t obtain the permits from other government agencies for the construction and still all other issues contain in the dam in Silicon Valley.

according to weather.com, studies found that if the dam failed when the reservoir was full, a 35-foot wall of water would slam into downtown Morgan Hill within 14 minutes. Within three hours, an 8-foot wave would reach San Jose.

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