PALMDALE – A dump truck filled with 10 cubic yards of sediment rolled out of the Littlerock Dam on Wednesday marking the start of a Palmdale Water District project that was postponed in the early 1990s when the federally protected arroyo toad was discovered in the area.
Removal of the first loads of sediment on Wednesday, Sept. 21, kicked off the start of the Littlerock Sediment Removal Project, a 12-year plan that aims to restore the dam to its 1992 water storage capacity of 3,500 acre-feet. Currently, the capacity is at 2,800 acre-feet due to years of sediment buildup.
“This is a momentous occasion for PWD,” said General Manager Dennis D. LaMoreaux. “For almost 30 years, we have been waiting to restore it to its capacity. We’ve hit hurdles that were beyond our control and spent millions to meet requirements. This is a good day.”
Innovative Construction Solutions of Costa Mesa is the contractor removing 64,000 cubic yards of sediment from the reservoir and trucking it to a local gravel pit. The company has experience working at Littlerock Dam, having removed sediment in early 2021 after the Bobcat fire caused a buildup of debris. If the weather remains favorable, this year’s phase of the project should be completed in five weeks.
Cost of this sediment removal is $2.8 million, with $1.1 million coming from grants. Although the multi-year project initially called for the annual removal of 120,000 cubic yards to total 1.1 million cubic yards within 12 years, the total accumulation has now grown to 1.7 million cubic yards.
The project was finally given the green light in 2020 after a $14 million grade-control structure was built at Rocky Point. At 400 feet wide and 240 feet long, it is a staircase-designed structure that prevents erosion and protects the toad’s upstream habitat during sediment removal.
“After three decades of delay, it’s nice to finally see this project move forward with the removal of sediment,” said Engineering Manager Scott Rogers. “Our plan is to stay within our budget and seek out grant funding opportunities to help with this annual cost.”
“It is important that we restore the reservoir to its maximum water capacity, especially as we continue to face severe drought and more local water supply storage is needed,” Rogers added.
[Information via news release from the Palmdale Water District.]
13 comments for "Littlerock Dam sediment removal project starts after nearly 30-year delay"
Karla K says
That’s so messed up! Over 30 years too late. Yep, lots of good times spent there back in the day.
If those dam buildings have been torn down, the store and cabins behind it, that for sure is a damned shameful senseless waste! GRRR
They waited 30 years lol y
A they must of blown the money on some roads that didn’t need fixing and passed the ones that need fixing lol never seen and toads or frogs there at all just another way for them to blow money they could of used the money to make it better and keep it to where people could still go to they dont think about things tell the last minute then its to late
There’s endangered frogs upstream and endangered toads down at the dam.
“The upper Little Rock creek had all native and stocked trout removed because of the arroyo road.”
Only trout above the fish dam that’s meant to keep trout from migrating up stream and eating the pollywogs of the the mountain yellow-legged frog.
I believe the construction of the grade control structure and the removal of sediment from the dam actually further damages the arroyo toad habitat but I do get a laugh over the positive spin below.
“The arroyo toad habit is the dam and the area around it.
The project will also preserve habitat for the Arroyo Toad (Anaxyrus californicus) through, construction of a grade control structure.”
The endangered toad and the frog are convenient tools for all levels of government when it suites their agenda. Littlerock Dam Facility will never be a recreation area again.
Thats California for you
‘Sediment’, aka, ‘sand and rock, is a basic ingredient in concrete.
Concrete is a basic building material, and has been for hundreds of years.
There is a worldwide shortage of sand and rock that is used to form aggregate, the filler material in concrete that typically makes up around 2/3rds of the concrete mixture used in the construction trade.
Being that this project to clear the sediment from the dam is publicly funded, the article fails to identify where those trucks are headed.
Right now, aggregate is around $75/yard, so the trucks are transporting what could become 64,000 x $75 = $4.8M worth of building material.
we can only hope that this is not some boondoggle that involves Innovative Construction in a scheme where they get paid to haul away public resources worth multiple millions of dollars.
WHAT A WASTE OF SUCH A VALUABLE LOCAL RECREATION ASSET…
WHO’S TO BLAME..?
OUR WOKE USFS AND THE INSANE CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY LAWYERS…
THANKS FOR NOTHING…
Tim Scott says
If it comes down to a choice between a rare toad and MAGAts I’d rather the MAGAts go extinct.
And yeah, I dunno if Ace is a MAGAt but he’s team Wrecks so he can go too.
I have a great reciepe for frog legs!
Strix Occidentalis says
I like my frog legs the same way I like my Spotted Owl.
No trout stocked in boquet creek any more because of the three spine stickleback minnow.
No water from the delta because of the delta smelt.
The upper Little Rock creek had all native and stocked trout removed because of the arroyo road.
Yearly out of control wildfires due to mismanagement of our forest floors.
And so on and so on.
Right Ive never seen no stickleback or no toads. I lived on the san clara river where water flowed on the surface and grew up at the damn. Never seen neither they’ll kill off other animals to save another it’s called nature. It happens, and to spend $14,000,000 on a structure to save the “frogs” like what a waste of our tax dollars. You should have just left the damn alone you take the only thing we had to do out here.
Robert Zink says
You’re damn right they should have left the damn alone growing up there we had the greatest times of our lives just like the boulevard taking away the cruising it gave all the youngsters nowhere to go except out the desert parties and out doing crime it’s a shame to see what happened to that place and for them I heard they tore down all the buildings those are like historical monuments to a lot of this it’s crazy you guys are out of control
Rana Muscosa says
The area can’t take the pressure of the human population.
The masses are asses and they’re no recovery in sight.