US Army Corps of Engineers
Albuquerque District

Agencies Collaborate to Save Culvert, Road and Money

Albuquerque District Public Affairs
Published Oct. 2, 2013
GALISTEO DAM, N.M., -- Construction on the dam's access road. Water was undercutting the culvert and threatening the road until it was corrected with help from the Bureau of Reclamation.

GALISTEO DAM, N.M., -- Construction on the dam's access road. Water was undercutting the culvert and threatening the road until it was corrected with help from the Bureau of Reclamation.

GALISTEO DAM, N.M., -- The dam's only access road was in danger from several feet of undercutting until it was fixed with the assistance of the Bureau of Reclamation.

GALISTEO DAM, N.M., -- The dam's only access road was in danger from several feet of undercutting until it was fixed with the assistance of the Bureau of Reclamation.

GALISTEO DAM, N.M., -- Victor Chavez and Mike Hamman discuss work being done on the culvert under the dam's access road, Sept. 11, 2013. Chavez is the superintendent of the project and Hamman is the Bureau's area manager.

GALISTEO DAM, N.M., -- Victor Chavez and Mike Hamman discuss work being done on the culvert under the dam's access road, Sept. 11, 2013. Chavez is the superintendent of the project and Hamman is the Bureau's area manager.

GALISTEO DAM, N.M., -- During the 2012 monsoonal rain season water runoff brought debris, choking the culvert under the dam’s access road.

The trapped debris forced water to overtop onto the road, making it inaccessible. The force of the water undercut the culvert by several feet, threatening it and the road.

Safety concerns prompted the District to save the road – the only access route to the dam and also used by others to reach property in the area. However the necessary fix wasn’t going to be cheap, especially in this era of budget belt-buckling. The solution? Interagency cooperation.

Karl Martin, chief of the District’s Lakes & Assets Branch, reached out to the Bureau of Reclamation and arranged an agreement between the two agencies. The result – a cleaned out and repaired culvert. The threat from undercutting has also been addressed. All under budget and, in about one month of construction, earlier than expected.

A big part of the agreement is the cost savings. Seyfollah Etemadi, project manager with the District’s Operations Support Branch, estimated that the project was completed at one-third the cost ($280,000) of having to completely redo redesign and construct it, (ranging from $700,000 to $1 million) which is what the District faced without the support of the Bureau of Reclamation.

“We appreciate their work,” Etemadi said. “We found the BOR credible, hard working and they know how to do a job well. This is a good example of cooperation between two government agencies.”

The Bureau has also done work with the District on the Arch Hurley Conservancy District’s channel at Conchas Dam earlier this summer.

Etemadi also wished to thank the many people involved in getting the project completed. “It’s not one person’s job. It’s a team job.”