Alamogordo seeks to restore lake damaged by 2012 fire | KOB 4

Alamogordo seeks to restore lake damaged by 2012 fire

Casey Torres
May 15, 2018 07:01 PM

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – In a two-year project hit minor setbacks, the City of Alamogordo last week approved a $71,795 change order for the Bonito Lake restoration project.


In 2012, the Little Bear Fire burned hundreds of homes and thousands of acres in southeast New Mexico. The Bonito Lake ended up with debris from the fire. Trees, ash and silt filled it up and clogged a pipeline used to transport water to Alamogordo.

The lake is north of Ruidoso, but it's owned by the City of Alamogordo. 

In 2017, the city went out to bid on a contractor and awarded SmithCo Construction from Caballo, New Mexico with the $8.6 million project. Last November, the work on the lake begin, but they've had a few obstacles six months into the project.

"NMDOT had requested additional traffic signage," engineering manager Bob Johnson said. "That was the smaller part of the change order, the larger part was that the temporary cofferdam that was designed, [sic] the sheet piles could not be driven to the designed depths of 20 feet due to some unforeseen underground obstructions."

Johnson said that's why the change order was approved. The real setback comes from Mother Nature.

"This past March, the lake experienced a rain event of about five days upwards of 5 inches which filled the lake back up, so through various draining efforts," he said. "We're having to drain the lake back down so the dewatering continues."

Johnson said if the skies stay clear, the lake will be drained enough to resume the project by the end of June. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.


Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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