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Main Irrigation Canal Strengthened
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Seeking to shore up the main canal, South San Joaquin Irrigation District has brought in crews to do just that, adding shotcrete to the walls of the canal that runs along Victory Avenue at the San Joaquin-Stanislaus County line.

“That particular area was kind of vulnerable,” explained SSJID Engineering Department Director Sam Bologna. “Typically we don’t line our canals but that is our main canal; that’s the first drop when the water comes from Woodward Reservoir.”

Off season work usually includes cleaning out of the canals first, taking out assorted household items that have been tossed in during the year, as well as removing any debris that has accumulated naturally, from tree branches to sediment.

“We’ve had a concern in that area for the stability of the canal bank,” added Bologna.

Preferring to err on the side of caution, SSJID decided to go for the lining of the canal banks, looking to avoid future problems with erosion or possible collapse. The goal is to keep the water flowing smoothly once it exits Woodward Reservoir and starts its way down the line. The canal on Victory later feeds a series of canals in the SSJID distribution system.

“That first gate out there at Victory at the north end, from that point all the way to Highway 120, we are lining the whole section,” Bologna said.

A firm out of Tracy was awarded the contract and subcontractor Ross F. Carroll, Inc. out of Oakdale is one of the crews currently on scene.

“Basically they cleaned out all the excess concrete, cleaned it down to the floor, the floor is solid so we are just doing the walls,” noted Bologna.

Gunite and shotcrete are being used, with one side being done at a time. Bologna said the dry January allowed contractors to make steady progress on the project.

Cost for the work is estimated at $900,000 and the project should be complete by mid-month, with an anticipated final work date of Feb. 15. It covers an estimated 2300 feet.