Newtown Canal Partial Encasement Project
The proposed project is located approximately 3 ½ miles west of Nevada City beginning immediately west of the intersection of Newtown Road and Justine Lane and proceeding west-southwest along Newtown Road for approximately 1,900 feet.
The project inception was in 2007 and has gone through multiple changes in response to property owner’s concerns. Following a Board of Directors decision on September 10, 2014 the project is to encase the 1,900 feet of canal within a pipe to be located within Newtown Road. This will include the creation of an EIR document to address the environmental impacts related to this project. The following is the amended press release of September 11, 2014 for the project.
“NID Board” Moves Forward With Newtown Canal Project GRASS VALLEY – The Nevada Irrigation District will move forward with a long delayed project to eliminate a bottleneck on the Newtown Canal, which is a primary water source for Lake Wildwood and Penn Valley. The NID Board of Directors on Wednesday (Sept. 10) authorized staff to move forward with a plan to bypass a 1900-foot-long section of the canal with a buried pipeline along Newtown Road, three miles west of Nevada City. Over the past year, through meetings with local property owners, NID agreed to upgrade the canal in place instead of moving it to the roadway but that plan has been delayed by a property owner who has not been able to come to an agreement with the district over the needed easements. One of several local residents that attended the meeting said she and her neighbors favor keeping the canal and have tried to persuade the absentee owner to allow the water project. NID officials assured the property owner and her neighbors that water would continue to be available, either through their own privately operated canal or through connections to the new pipeline. “We’re very respectful of this board’s efforts to satisfy the wishes of all the neighbors,” said the property owner, who volunteered to gather her neighbors together to determine how to best preserve their water supplies.
NID has been planning the canal rehabilitation for several years and sought construction bids for the upgrade that would keep the canal in place. The board’s action required those bids to be rejected and new environmental studies to be undertaken on the roadway pipeline. The studies include an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that was approved by the Board of Directors on November 18, 2015.
Since the approval of the EIR, the District had completed the design of the new 36-inch diameter pipeline and is anticipating going to construction in June 2016. The project site is one of two primary bottlenecks NID is working to remove on the Newtown Canal. The district has placed a moratorium on new irrigation water connections because of the canal’s limited capacity.