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May 2019 Emerging Professionals Meeting
GEI Office Rancho Cordova
2868 Prospect Park Dr #400
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM PDT
Category: Sacramento Emerging Professionals

Emerging Professional Meeting

Geotechnical Design and Construction Aspects During the Recovery Efforts for the Oroville Dam Spillways

Presented by Craig Hall, PE, GE (GEI Consultants, Inc.) & Holly Nichols, PG, CEG, Senior Engineering Geologist (DWR’s Division of Engineering)

Please join us at the GEI offices in Rancho Cordova this month for our Emerging Professionals Meeting, board elections and casual dinner.

Presentation Synopsis

During heavy winter rains in early 2017, Oroville Dam’s Flood Control Outlet spillway was severely damaged and the hillside downstream of the Emergency Spillway severely eroded. DWR responded immediately to this emergency with a technical design team able to respond quickly. GEI led the geotechnical sections of the design team, and later supported those efforts on-site during construction in the summer of 2017 to repair the Flood Control Outlet Spillway by November 1, 2017 so that it could safely pass water before the next rainy season. That milestone was achieved, and the design team continued for the second phase of the project in 2018.  Design elements included removal and replacement of the entire FCO spillway (using roller-compacted concrete [RCC] to fill in the large erosional holes), installation of a 1700-ft-long secant pile wall downstream of the Emergency Spillway, and armoring the Emergency Spillway hillside with roller-compacted concrete.  In addition to designing the project, the design team provided construction inspections during the 2017 and 2018 construction season.

Mr. Hall will present the design and construction challenges in this “fast-track” approach which was necessary to meet the November 1st milestone, focusing on the geotechnical design and construction components of the project.

Presenter Biography

Craig Hall, PE, GE, is a Principal Geotechnical Engineer and Vice President at GEI Consultants, Inc.  He has served DWR as the Lead Geotechnical Engineer during both the design and construction of the Emergency Recovery of the Oroville Dam Spillways. In his 30+ years as a geotechnical engineer, Mr. Hall has provided geotechnical engineering, project management, and construction observation services to a variety of clients, including California water and flood control agencies, public works agencies, private mining firms, and transportation agencies. His experience includes dam embankment evaluation, design, and repair; dam removal; levee studies, investigations, designs, and construction services; landslide investigations and remediation; bridge and roadway designs; roadway reconstructions; and steam restorations.

Holly Nichols has been with the California Department of Water Resources since 2008, after working in the private sector for several years in Southern California. She is currently a Senior Engineering Geologist in DWR’s Division of Engineering. She has spent the past couple years as the Lead Geologist for the Oroville Spillway Recovery efforts, and has worked on a variety of other water infrastructure design and construction projects including pipelines, canals, and dams throughout California’s State Water Project. She received her B.S. in Geology from the University of Texas in Austin, and her M.S. in Geology from Washington State University, and is a licensed Engineering Geologist in California.

Board Elections

Board elections will be conducted for the 2019-2020 year. Get involved and join our fun group of geo-minded professionals. No age limit or cut-off, we accept you!

These are the board positions that need to be filled for the coming year:

Vice President
Speaker Coordinator
Student Outreach Coordinator
2x Member at large


6:00pm Registration & casual dinner

6:30pm Board elections

7:00pm Presentation by Craig Hill of GEI Consultants

8:00pm Conclusion


$20 Professionals, Students FREE!

Contact: [email protected]