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USACE begins demolition at future Lake Isabella visitor center site

Posted on February 5, 2024

Demolition of the former Bank of America building, located at 6212 Lake Isabella Boulevard in Lake Isabella, is now underway.

The building must be removed so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can begin construction on the new U.S. Forest Service visitor center later this year.

Demolition is expected to be complete in mid-March, and the new USFS facility is scheduled to be complete in 2025.

The former USFS visitor center was displaced by construction of the new emergency spillway as part of the Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project and a temporary visitor center has been co-located with the USFS Lake Isabella fire station in the interim.

The Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project addressed overtopping, seismic and seepage issues identified with Isabella Lake’s main and auxiliary dams and spillways to reduce the likelihood of dam failure. Construction of the dam modifications began in 2017 with the relocation of facilities within the project footprint, and the project achieved substantial completion in 2022.

Completed in 1953, Isabella Dam is located approximately 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The reservoir is impounded by two earthen dams on the Kern River and Hot Springs Valley. Today, Isabella Lake and its dams reduce flood risk for Bakersfield and the surrounding region and is a primary water source for water users throughout Kern County.


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