DWR Completes Castaic Dam Tower Bridge Retrofit


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Department of Water Resources has completed the seismic retrofits on Castaic Dam’s tower access bridge in Los Angeles County. The completion marks a major milestone to ensure the resiliency of State Water Project facilities.

“The significant progress made on the seismic retrofit to the bridge at Castaic Dam is the result of proactive and effective teamwork between DWR and several agencies,” said David Sarkisian, DWR manager of Dam Safety Services. “The collaboration and communication associated with the project led to the successful resolution of numerous challenges throughout the planning, design, and construction phases, particularly in terms of minimizing the impacts of the reservoir drawdown needed to retrofit the tallest piers.”

Improvements to the 500-foot-long bridge consisted of applying carbon fiber reinforced polymer wrapping to three piers. To allow for continued safe operations of the intake tower and access bridge during a major earthquake, the project also included adding catcher blocks, shear keys, elastomeric bearing pads and steel plates.

Work on the piers began in summer 2021. The lake was lowered more than 100 feet for the project. With the completion of pier work in November, Castaic Lake’s refill began as the bridge’s superstructure work took place.

During the lake’s refill, which continues, visitors are advised to be alert and stay away from hazards during fluctuating water levels.

The Castaic Dam Modernization Program began in 2018 and involves reducing seismic risk to the intake tower and access bridge, evaluating the spillway to identify and implement necessary modifications, and improving dam safety monitoring capabilities on various dam components. DWR anticipates the modernization efforts of the program will take about 10 years to complete.


For program information, visit the DWR website.


Castaic Lake, completed in 1974, is the terminal reservoir for the State Water Project’s West Branch. The lake, located 45 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, provides a water supply to more than 5.2 million Californians.




Maggie Macias, Public Affairs, Department of Water Resources

(916) 653-8743 | maggie.macias@water.ca.gov