Russell County, KY —
“This is a monumental occasion for both local and downstream communities that rely on the dam for economic and water management benefits,” said Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, commander of the Nashville District. He reviewed the Corps’ already announced plans to allow the level of Lake Cumberland to rise 20 feet for this summer’s tourism season and then to historical operational levels at 723 feet above sea level in Summer 2014.
Mike Zoccola, lead engineer for the rehabilitation project and chief of the Corps’ Civil Design Branch, said the rehabilitated Wolf Creek Dam, according to Corps’ policy, must be treated as a new dam.
“We raise the water in increments rather than put the entire pressure against the dam all at once,” Zoccola explained. He said originally they through about raising the water level 10 feet at a time, “ ... but they let us raise it 20 feet for this summer.”
The water level yesterday morning was at the 701-foot level. It will be maintained between 700 and 705 feet this summer and then raised another 20 feet to the 723-foot level by Summer 2014.
Praise was heaped on Treviicos-Soletanche Joint Venture, the general contractor for the rehabilitation project. Jerome Stubler and Stefano Trevisani, the companies’ chief executive officers, each made remarks during the completion celebration.
Bill DeBruyn, resident engineer at the dam, said earlier the total project required 290,000 cubic yards of concrete. According to our calculation, a cubic yard of fresh concrete weighs about 3,700 pounds, so a total of 1,073,000,000 (one billion, 73 million) pounds of concrete have been inserted in the dam.
That is enough concrete, according to DeLapp, to build a sidewalk 5 feet wide and four inches thick from Russell Springs to Washington D.C. Pyle Concrete Company of Columbia built a plant on U.S. 127 across from Lake Cumberland State Park to supply concrete for the dam project.