Dam Prices Doubles

Well, this seems bad:

An engineering firm has nearly doubled the estimated cost of a dam at Ragged Mountain Reservoir, prompting officials to halt design work on a project intended to supply drinking water to the region for the next 50 years.

Gannett Fleming — the firm tasked with the project’s design, engineering and construction — hiked the original $37 million cost estimate to $70 million largely because of fractured and weathered rock at the site of the future dam. Local officials then sought a second study from Schnabel Engineering, which concluded that the project could be done for $56.5 million or less.

Brandon Shulleeta explains in the Progress that the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority is putting together a panel to review the two studies and figure out what to do. Citizens for a Sustainable Water Supply Plan are thrilled, saying that this is makes clearer than ever that it would be cheaper to just dredge the South Fork. The trick is that we’re not trying to provide water for everybody who lives here, but also everybody who might move here between now and 2058. Growth is expensive, and it’s the taxpayers who get stuck with the bill.

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