Newell Creek Dam Project

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The City of Santa Cruz Water Department is replacing the existing Newell Creek Dam (NCD)  inlet/outlet works at Loch Lomond Reservoir in the San Lorenzo Valley.

Project Updates and Announcements

July 9, 2019: Prequalification RFQ for Construction Services

The RFQ for Construction Services for the Newell Creek Dam Inlet/Outlet Replacement Project (NCD I/O) is available to download on eBidBoard. Highly-qualified contractors are encouraged to submit Statements of Qualifications (SOQs). All interested contractors must submit their completed SOQ on or before September 10, 2019 at 4pm. Any queries should be directed to the point of contact listed in the RFQ.

Following the City’s selection, the prequalified contractors will be listed on the NCD I/O Project website (

Prequalified contractors will be invited to submit cost proposals. A Summary Prequalification Flyer is also available for interested contractors.

Newell Creek Dam Background


Completed in 1961, the earthfill dam stands approximately 195 feet tall with a crest length of approximately 750 feet. NCD impounds Loch Lomond Reservoir with a maximum storage capacity of approximately 8,646 acre-feet. The dam is operated by the Santa Cruz Water Department and regulated by the California Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD). The existing NCD inlet/outlet works is approaching the end of its useful design life.

Project Objectives

  • Protect the City's water supply system by addressing existing deficiencies.
  • Establish long-term reliable storage of drinking water supply.
  • Meet DSOD drawdown requirements.
  • Improve overall operational efficiency and system performance.
  • Improve inspection and maintenance access.
  • Implement a cost-effective project, including operation/maintenance costs.
  • Maintain uninterrupted beneficial flow releases during construction.

Project Components

  • Three new inlets that control and convey flows.
  • New outlet structure with valves and controls to provide for energy dissipation for water releases to the Newell Creek Pipeline (NCP) or beneficial releases to Newell Creek.
  • New dam seepage collection and monitoring system.
  • 10-14 foot diameter tunnel with 48-inch and 10-inch inlet/outlet pipelines.
  • Replacement of approximately 2,000 linear-foot segment of the NCP.
  • New intake control building on dam crest.
  • Access road improvements including a new culvert crossing at spillway plunge pool.
  • Decommissioning the existing inlet/outlet works.

 Project Schedule

Summer 2019

Prequalify Contractors

Fall 2019

Contractor Site Visit

Winter 2019

Request for Proposal

Spring 2020


Spring 2020 – 2022



Prequalification: Highly-qualified contractors are encouraged to submit Statements of Qualifications. Prequalified firms will be invited to submit cost proposals.

Construction Impacts: Minimal disruption to the reservoir and current water delivery operations. Recreational access to Loch Lomond Reservoir will not be impacted.

Project Documents

Project Contact:

Leah VanDerMaaten, Project Manager

(831) 420-5619