Fort Peck Dam, Like Many US Dams, Needs Repairs that the Nation Cannot Afford

Proposed repairs to bolster Montana’s Fort Peck Dam following epic flooding along the Missouri River last year would cost more than $225 million, according to cost estimates released in 2012 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

But with money short, Corps officials acknowledged they are able to afford only $46 million for damage assessments and repair work for now. Most of that will be spent on repairs to the dam’s spillway.

Dams, which often seem like a good idea when they’re in the planning stage, eventually become fiscal liabilities that will  need expensive repairs and even more expensive decommissioning.

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