FOLSOM, Sacramento County — A 600-mile stretch of highway, including a long section of Interstate 5 in California and Oregon, will be shut down in sections to make way for new floodgates being shipped to Folsom Dam, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The new gates are part of a $900 million auxiliary spillway project designed to release water earlier and faster during a flood, providing greater protection to the Sacramento region from floods on the American River. (Ironically, Folsom Lake, the reservoir behind the dam, has been near historic lows due to the current drought. However, runoff from the Sierra Nevada through the American River watershed has the capacity to rapidly fill the lake and require massive releases downstream.)
Each assembled gate is about the size of 12 school buses strapped together in a cube. Though they are being transported in pieces, Interstate 5 from just outside Portland, Ore., and other highways will have to be shut down to accommodate them. The first shipment is expected later this month.
"It'll be pretty interesting, pretty spectacular, for them to be moving something this large down from Oregon," said Rick Johnson, executive director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. "I anticipate it'll be similar logistics to moving the space shuttle."