The official Diamond Valley Lake web site

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Construction


The construction of Diamond Valley Lake's West Dam, East Dam, and Saddle Dam represents the largest earthwork project in the history of the United States, involving over 40 million cubic yards of foundation excavation and 110 million cubic yards of embankment construction.

The Diamond Valley Lake project is truly a "World Class" civil works project with materials drilled, blasted, crushed, loaded, hauled, placed, and compacted at an unsurpassed rate in the dam construction industry. The rock operations literally moved the mountain of rock from the south rim of the reservoir and placed it across the valley floor to form two two-mile long dams at each end of a 4-1/2-mile valley.

The dams are earth-core rock fill dams that make use of soil and rock materials, all obtained from areas located within the project boundary. Core materials were obtained from the silty and clayey sandy alluvium in the floor of the reservoir. Rockfill came from the bedrock near the lake's South Rim. The West Dam and Saddle Dam rockfill shells are comprised of quartzite and phyllite obtained near the western end of the reservoir, while the East Dam rockfill shells are gneiss obtained near the eastern end of the reservoir. Filter and drain materials for all three dams were obtained by crushing and processing quartzite from the western end of the reservoir.

The shovels, loaders and trucks used on the project were the largest available in the industry and established a new standard for earth and rock movement. The two rock processing plants set up for the project provided combined production exceeding the capability of any single commercial processing operation in California.

The reservoir's construction field operations were the largest in the nation, moving more than 200,000 cubic yards of earth and rock each day to build the project's three dams. More than 150 million cubic yards of materials were hauled - more than two times the total excavation of the "Chunnel" project linking England and France. You can now walk through the Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir construction site and view the building of the reservoir through the use of Quicktime VR technology. You can proceed to the site by clicking the map to the right or navigate via the QTVR Views menu. The movies are designed to play as they load so you will need to install the Quicktime plug-in for proper viewing.