Guadalupe Dam is a 129-foot-high, 650-foot-long compacted earth embankment constructed in the mid 1930’s, owned and operated by Santa Clara Valley Water District. The Guadalupe Dam facilities are located in Santa Clara County about 9.5 miles south of the City of San Jose. Construction of the facilities occurred in the mid 1930’s with completion in 1936.
A seismic stability evaluation of the Guadalupe Dam completed in 2012 indicated inadequate seismic stability of the dam from postulated design earthquake events. As a result, Guadalupe Reservoir is currently subject to operational restrictions imposed by the California Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD). Retrofit of the 80-year-old Guadalupe Dam and associated facilities is necessary to address seismic safety concerns and other identified dam issues; to meet current regulatory requirements; to satisfy District operational requirements; and to remove the reservoir operating restriction and restore normal water supply capacity.
GEI is currently designing the seismic retrofit of the dam and will discuss key aspects of the project including engineering planning studies completed to identify the dam safety issues, alternatives considered for retrofit, critical dam safety design features and the current status of the overall retrofit design.
Matt Powers, P.E.
Matt is a Senior Engineer with 14 years of experience in geotechnical evaluations related to flood management and water resources. He has managed complex design projects involving evaluation and design of dams and levees, dam safety monitoring, flood and erosion control, slope stability and landslide stabilization, and operations, maintenance, and emergency response procedures and include coordination of interdisciplinary task leaders and sub-consultants. Currently Matt is working with Valley Water as the Project Manager for the Guadalupe Dam Retrofit Final Design effort
Matt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a Master’s degree in Geologic Science from the University of British Colombia, in Vancouver. He is also the Branch Manager for the GEI Oakland office, where every day feels like happy hour on a tropical island.
Mark Freitas, PE, GE - Principal Engineer, GEI Consultants (since 2009)
Mark is a registered civil and geotechnical engineer in California with over 39 years’ experience in all aspects of geotechnical engineering, for a variety of structures. Over the last 15 years his emphasis has been on the evaluation and design of dams and levees. He has led the planning and execution of extensive field investigation programs, geotechnical data interpretation, site characterization, seepage and stability evaluations and overall dam and levee assessment programs. Mark is currently the Lead Geotechnical Engineer managing evaluations and seismic retrofit design of the 140-foot-high, 85-year old Guadalupe Dam owned by Valley Water.
Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is also GEI’s Oakland Branch ‘office putt-putt’ expert holding the all-time record for putts in regulation and related use of the phrase “damn-it!” outside of professional context.