Cost Trends and Estimates for Dam Rehabilitation in the Commonwealth of Virginia

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Virginia Tech


In recent years, the United States has seen a high demand for dam rehabilitation projects as most dam infrastructure has started to reach or exceed the expected life span of 50-70 years. Rehabilitation projects can be very expensive, however, and the funding options for dam owners are limited. To raise awareness, organizations such as ASDSO and the Virginia DCR release cost estimates every few years to encourage more investment in dam infrastructure. Unfortunately, many cost estimates have been made with limited data and outdated methodologies. This research collects a new sample of cost data for Virginia dam rehabilitation projects and uses it to assess key factors for cost estimating. Factors such as height, drainage area, hazard classification, and ownership type were used to make regression models that predict the cost of addressing Virginia's non-compliant dams. This study estimates that approximately $300 million is needed to address Virginia's 98 deficient high hazard, local government owned dams and that $122 million of that estimate is need for SWCD dams alone.



Cost Estimating, Dam Safety, Dam Rehabilitation, Dam Removal