Los Alamos Flood Control Structure

  • Location:

    Los Alamos, New Mexico

  • Client:

    The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Albuquerque District

  • Construction Value:


  • Delivery Method:


  • Year Completed:


  • Specialties:

    Flood Control, Infrastructure & Site Development

Features & Highlights

  • Designed and built dam in 60 Days
  • Sundt self-performed 90% of the work
  • Crews and equipment mobilized within 24 hours, and worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Project Overview

All fast-track projects are inherently difficult. However, this particular emergency flood control contract to protect mission-critical facilities became extremely challenging due to stringent security measures and the physical challenges of building at the bottom of a steep canyon. In Los Alamos New Mexico, Sundt completed federal emergency work in response to severe flooding due to heavy rains following a forest fire. Sundt and its design partner mobilized people, crews and equipment within 24 hours of notice to proceed from the Corps of Engineers.

Sundt set up an on-site plant to mix 66,000 cubic yards of roller-compacted concrete (RCC) at the top of the canyon to build a 390-foot-wide, 66-foot-high dam several hundred feet below the plant site. The dam is 93 feet thick at its base and anchored 50 feet deep. The project was performed as part of an IDIQ contract with the USACE. A temporary earthen cofferdam was built upstream of the river flow and RCC was pumped 75 feet down through a 36-inch pipe and then transported via trucks the remaining 100 plus feet below to the dam site.

Sundt co-located on site with its design partner, the USACE and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) personnel. We worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week with these partners to design and build the dam structure, which was to protect the mission-critical facilities downstream where confidential significant tasks of national interest were being performed. As was the case in the early 1940’s with our critical work during WWII, the USACE chose Sundt as its design-build partner due to our ability to mobilize immediately and perform this work where failure was not an option. In addition to the RCC dam, Sundt designed and built additional flood mitigation protection works under nine other task orders in and around the Los Alamos community within the same timeframe.

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“Completion of this and a number of smaller projects throughout the National Laboratory reflected the dedicated efforts of hard-working professionals. The men and women of Sundt can take pride in their accomplishments. You gave us the best in people and effort.”

Peter T. Madsen, Brigadier General, US Army


Awards & Accolades

2001 AGC Build America, AGC of America

2001 Division Engineer’s Award for Excellence, US Army Corps of Engineers Southern Pacific Division

2000 Excellence in Construction, Associated Builders & Contractors