The LCDRP is in full swing. Since October 2022, we have been working hard to prepare for the design process. That effort continues along with other supporting functions including, but not limited to, geotechnical exploration and drilling, construction permitting, NEPA review for federal funding, field investigations to support construction (topo surveys, environmental site assessments, site access, and others), OPM procurement, EPC development and procurement, and GC selection.
Big picture: we expect this project will be complete in about three years (c. August 2026)
We will continue to update this scheduling page as changes occur or milestones are reached. The milestones presented below are in reverse chronological order; so, tasks already complete are at the bottom, and tasks we are still actively working on are at the top.
Kleinschmidt Associates, the engineer for the Project, and S&ME, one of our incredible partners, have completed the field work needed for acquisition of geotechnical data related to the construction of the dam. This will allow them to evaluate the condition of the bedrock underlying the expected footprint of the dam, and to determine the best locations for installing rock anchors, if needed. The US Army Corps of Engineers issued the permit to allow the investigation on July 24, 2023, and DHEC issued its permit for construction activities in navigable waters on August 15, 2023. We obtained DHEC's approval of our workplan, put the drill rig in place, and have now completed the field investigation. The drilling operation and the geotechnical team's downhole instrumentation concluded on October 28, 2023. This allowed them to confirm the quality of the rock we saw from the drilling operation. All that remains is the preparation of the final report and incorporation of the results into the schematic design. Check out the photos at the Videos/Photos page.
Kleinschmidt Associates, the engineer for the Project, has now crossed the schematic design threshold. Based on this, we have prepared a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which we published last Friday, December 1. We will review the responses to the RFQ and invite the most highly qualified candidates to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP). These general contractors will bring to bear on the project their own engineering teams and provide a proposal to construct the dam. We expect the proposals and designs to be submitted to the selection board and independent design review board by March 18, 2024, and, based on these submittals, further expect to select the winning GC by April 1, 2024.
The work on the permitting required for the construction of the dam has begun. This phase of the project is lengthy and complex, and is expected to extend well into 2024. These permits are a condition precedent to beginning construction. The first of these permits is for the geotechnical investigation. The US Army Corps of Engineers issued the permit to allow the investigation on July 24, 2023, and DHEC issued its permit for construction activities in navigable waters on August 15, 2023. We have completed the activities under the permit, and have begun to close the access road.
Our next step in the permitting process is a pre-application meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers (they issue the permit for the dam itself) and DHEC (they have the right to require additional conditions to protect water quality). We will conduct this meeting on November 21, 2023.
Earlier this summer, we conducted a series of interviews of project management firms in order to build out the project team. This will ensure the project proceeds in an orderly manner, and hopefully ahead of schedule and under budget. The proposals from all finalists impressed us greatly, and choosing was exceedingly difficult, but we have made the selection and our now more robust team continues moving forward. This task was completed on time and on budget.
The budget has now passed the House, Senate, and Governor with $36 million included for the LCDRP. We also have commitments from stakeholders in the amount of $8-9 million, and we will likely pursue federal funding beginning this autumn. Stay tuned.
The LCDRP team conducted a series of four workshops to review project history; establish project goals, vision for success, and strategy; determine the method of delivery; define project phases; review roles and responsibilities; and create a risk management plan. The nature and complexity of the project required this series of workshops so that the team would be well-prepared for success. This task was completed on time and under budget.
The surveyors completed the topographical and land surveys of the dam and the surrounding site to create a digital surface profile compatible with AutoCAD Civil 3D that will be used by the engineers to lay out the project work in the Schematic Design phase. This task was completed on time and under budget.
The environmental engineers completed the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for the project in May 2023 on time and under budget.