Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 4, 2013

2013 is year dam will finally be repaired


Somerset —

The wall, a minimum of two feet thick, is formed by drilling two primary holes and then a secondary hole in the center of the two primary holes. The holes are filled with concrete.
The barrier wall is complete except in the critical area. Getty said about 60 secondary holes remain to be drilled to complete the wall.
To prevent vibrations during the drilling operation, the drilling is done through a protective concrete embankment wall inserted in the dam before the 50-inch drill bits are used. In other words, the drills go through concrete to the base of the dam and then into limestone rock.
Getty said the barrier wall is 95 percent complete. The overall project is about 85 percent complete, he added.
Part of the overall project will include eliminating the work platform, base of operations for inserting the barrier wall. Getty said some narrowing of the work platform could begin as early as next week.
Seepage has been a problem since the dam was built. A panel of experts in 2005 labeled Wolf Creek Dam in high risk of failure. Treviicos-Soletanche JV, a joint French-Italian company was given a contract to fix the dam, a project of size and complexity never before done.

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