Phoenix Lake Project Update - 2020
The District is continuing to move forward with its Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project.
May 5, 2020
The Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD or District) Board of Directors on Tuesday, May 5th awarded a $4.1 million contract to Steve Manning Construction, Inc. (SMC) for the construction of the Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project. The Board unanimously supported the contract approval at a Special Board meeting held May 5th via a publicly accessible electronic platform.
Residents in the vicinity of Phoenix Lake may see construction activity as soon as June depending on weather conditions. Click this link to read the complete news release, TUD Board Awards Construction Contract for the Phoenix Lake Project.
March 17, 2020
Invitation to Bid for Contractors Posted
Update as of February 5, 2020
- The District anticipates receiving the final required environmental permits by the end of February 2020 to move to the next phase of this project.
- The District will request bids from Contractors beginning in late February or early March. View the link to the Notice of Intent to Request Bids.
- Preliminary construction activity may begin as early as the Spring of 2020, with major construction activity taking place throughout the summer.
Changes to Phoenix Lake
You may notice:
- Bird deterrents being placed such as owl figurines, orange spheres that look like eyes, and shiny ribbon. These measures will protect the birds by encouraging them to build nests at safer locations.
- Extremely low lake water levels. The lake has been drained as low as possible in order to dry as much as the lake as possible in preparation for dredging operations.
- An increase of people looking at the lake. Perspective contractors may wish to see the lake before placing bids. TUD will also be conducting field meetings with various personnel.
The District will update this page with new updates to the project as they become available. Thank you!
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Phoenix Lake Project Update - January 2019
The District is continuing to move forward with its Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project. This is a multi-year phased project that completed the Environmental Review process in 2017. The District is 90% complete with design elements associated with this project and are now awaiting final permitting approval from State agencies to move forward with the next Phase of construction.
It is estimated that final permitting from the State agencies will be completed by June 2019. After this has been completed, the District will work with property stakeholders adjacent to Phoenix Lake to start preparing for the construction phase of the project. Estimates are that construction or trenching of the lake will take place Spring 2020.
We appreciate the patience of the community and property owners along the Phoenix Lake corridor. To be updated on this project, please complete the form below to be added to our email list on updates to Phoenix Lake Project.
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Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project
The main components of the Proposed Project include sediment removal and wetland enhancement, sediment reuse and disposal, and tributary improvements. Most of the sediment removed from the lake would be placed at the Cedar Ridge Apple Ranch and on the Summers property immediately north of the lake. Sediment would also be placed in strategic locations within the lake to improve water circulation and manage sedimentation. The Proposed Project would also involve sedimentation and flood protection improvements along lower Chicken Creek and construction of a crossing over Power Creek. Implementation of the Proposed Project would increase the water supply reliability and improve water quality for TUD’s largest water system, serving more than 10,000 people, as well as commercial and agricultural users.
Jul 21, 2017
Aug 21, 2017
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Phoenix Lake is the primary drinking water source for Sonora, Jamestown, Scenic View, and Mono Village, in Tuolumne County’s “gold country.” Constructed in 1852 to support hydraulic mining, the 88-acre lake today is one of several reservoirs in the Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) distribution system. Phoenix Lake lies three miles northeast of Sonora in a wooded meadow surrounded by alpine hills. The water serves as the principal fill source for CAL FIRE helicopter operations in the Highway 108 corridor. As a scenic aquatic habitat and wetland, Phoenix Lake is also used for non-motorized, non-contact recreation by adjacent homeowners and on a limited basis by the general public.
A loss of one third of Phoenix Lake’s water storage capacity has occurred over the past 100 years.
The goals of the Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Plan are to develop conceptual plans to:
- improve water quality,
- increase water storage,
- reduce future silt buildup,
- increase wetlands habitat value and functionality,
- evaluate public access,
- improve fire protection and educate property owners surrounding the lake about appropriate land maintenance practices.
- determine and describe the necessary level of environmental analysis and permitting requirements for potential construction and maintenance projects developed in the conceptual plan.
Sierra Nevada Conservancy Grant & TUD Funding
This evaluation project is funded by a $100,000 Sierra Nevada Conservancy Grant and $120,000 TUD matching funds for a total budget of $220,000. Horizon Water and Environment was hired as a consultant for the project. The Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Plan has developed conceptual plans for lake restoration (including a lake dredging plan), water quality improvements, wetland habitat improvements, public access, and fire management. Ultimately, the Plan will be used to prepare an engineered project design, environmental review, secure community support and construction grant funding.