Pine Valley spillway restoration, contractor bids solicited

Pine Valley Spillway 2011, from the top looking to the bottom, where the water level will typically flow and where the stone/rock work has eroded away, Pine Valley, UT | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest, St. George News

PINE VALLEY –A reservoir, a dam and a spillway, an altitude higher than that of St. George, which offers cooler temperatures and winter snow, as well as a beautiful pine-covered mountain, all contribute to the charm and appeal of the Pine Valley recreation area and campground tucked within the Dixie National Forest.

The spillway has been suffering from water erosion and the U.S. Forest Service has designated it as a restoration project for small business concerns; solicitation of bids is now open.

“The main purpose of this project is to restore the spillway to its original structure, the original spillway was built in 1933, over the years water erosion has taken some of the slide sloping walls off the bottom … section,” said James Redhouse, Jr., the forest service’s lead civil engineer for the project.

Marian Jacklin is the Heritage Program Manager who works with the forest service. She will oversee the project to ensure that the spillway is restored to look like it originally did. “It’s an historic property; it needs to look like it’s supposed to, from the top to the bottom it needs to look the same.”

Pine Valley Dam, 1935, Pine Valley, UT | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest, St. George News

Jacklin also said the restoration is necessary so that whatever comes over the spillway will stay in the channel and not overflow and cause trouble in the neighboring Pine Valley community, situated two miles to the west.

The project will restore the stonewall work along the annual flood level mark of the existing side sloping walls of the reservoir spillway.

Pine Valley Spillway 2011, from the bottom looking to the top, Pine Valley, UT | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest, St. George News

The solicitation invites a base bid and an optional bid item. The base bid item consists of constructing a water control system and restoring approximately 640 square feet of missing stonework. The optional bid item consists of restoring 400 additional square feet of missing stonework along the higher portions of the existing spillway. The project anticipates completion within 30 days for the base project or 45 days total if the optional project is undertaken. Full details on the solicitation and bidding process are included on the Federal Business Opportunities website,, for this project, Solicitation Number AG-84N8-S-12-0012.

Civil Engineer Redhouse graduated from Southern Utah University in December 2011, and while this is not his first or biggest project – “I have been with the forest service since 2008 as a student … and I’ve been independently leading projects for awhile” he said – it is his first project lead since graduating. He appreciates the needs of the community and said he has tried to focus on local contractors in putting the solicitation out to bid.

Only one award will be given. The base bid project is designed to include the necessities; the optional bid includes work that may be done under the one contract awarded but since it is not considered necessary, it will not be separately awarded.

The factors taken into account in evaluating bids submitted are several:

“In a nutshell, it is not always the lowest bid possible,” said Redhouse, “sometimes the contractor isn’t as qualified as we’d like. We do look at price, but we also look at the contractor’s manpower, equipment [whether it is] sufficient to get it done, experience, what have they worked on in the past that is similar to what we’re asking them to do.”

“These contractors submit packets,” Jacklin said, “we look at them and give them ratings, the price is the last thing we look at once we see if they’re qualified.”

Contractors interested in bidding for the project may do so through the FedBizOpps website. Questions may also be directed to Redhouse at telephone 435-865-3759. He may also be contacted by email at [email protected].

The pre-bid meeting on location, previously scheduled for Feb. 24, was postponed indefinitely due to weather. The website for the solicitation will be updated with any developments, including the rescheduling of that pre-bid meeting.

Pine Valley Reservoir, 2011, Pine Valley, UT | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest, St. George News

There are other projects to be done at Pine Valley Campground: “There has been some discussion about raising [up] the dam itself … in the future but they have to dredge the reservoir first, we haven’t’ heard anything more about that,” Jacklin said. “It will be the engineers, the needs, necessity, discussions with the ranger, county commissioner, locals – since the reservoir would have to be drained we would have to consult with the Division of Wildlife Resources – silt has built up, it’s been talked about for five years.” It is not expected that the dam project will be initiated anytime in the next year or two.

There are some trail work around the campground and some projects to be done, nothing major in the next year, but some of these will be put out for bid. Jacklin said that the engineering department decides whether a project is something the forest service’s crews can accomplish, and if not they have to get the money (federal funds), and so forth.

Jacklin said that Pine Valley does bring in seasonal crews, “we hire locals, [and] kids from all over the United States that come, and they’ll work on those projects – some are projects the crews can work on – some of the trail work can be done by locals, sometimes we even have volunteers.”

Pine Valley can be accessed by taking Forest Service Road 30035 from State Highway 18.


email: [email protected]

twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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