Woodworth Dam Optimization

British Columbia

The City of Prince Rupert, which had been under a boil water advisory for a number of years, needed to replace the aging Woodworth Dam. It was a critical undertaking, as the 100-year-old infrastructure serves as a reservoir and water source for the community. The city turned to Austin Engineering, now BBA, to optimize the dam redesign, help secure the project and make it a state-of-the-art freshwater distribution facility. By undertaking a comprehensive value engineering review, the budget was decreased by nearly 17%. During this process, the dams were modelled with 3D printing and the riverbeds were CNC routed, and then tested in hydraulic flumes to confirm their flow characteristics and to optimize required concrete volumes. The completed dam now allows water to be taken directly from the reservoir and piped down and across the harbour to the city’s water system, providing residents with safe potable water. The jurors commended the project team for their efforts to reduce the budget while minimizing environmental impact during construction. The involvement of a First Nation environmental consultant further highlighted the project's goal for Indigenous collaboration and environmental stewardship, a key aspect that impressed the jury.

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