Commonwealth Journal

Local News

October 10, 2012

Wolf Creek Dam repairs scheduled for late 2013 completion

Wolf Creek Dam — The seven-year rehabilitation of Wolf Creek Dam is 88 percent complete and the project is still on track to be finished in about 14 months –– December 2013.

Bill DeBruyn, resident engineer at the dam, said 1,053 of the concrete piles to form a permanent barrier wall to stop uncontrolled seepage are in place, leaving 144 more piles to complete the wall.

The permanent wall is being created by drilling 50-inch diameter holes 275 feet deep from the work platform on the upstream side of the dam to about 100 feet into the limestone bedrock. Each hole, filled with 140 cubic yards of concrete, is called a pile.

The 50-inch holes overlap, like Olympic rings, forming a permanent wall that must be at least two feet thick. The new wall extends into a deeper and more stable limestone stratum than immediately below the dam. Another wall, installed during the 1970s, was not long enough or deep enough to stop uncontrolled seepage that undermined integrity of the structure.

It takes a lot of concrete for the wall currently being formed. At onset of the project, an engineer said it would take enough concrete to build a sidewalk 5 feet wide from the dam south of Jamestown to Washington, D.C.

DeBruyn laughed at this analogy. He said the total project will require 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 will have been inserted in the dam when the rehabilitation project is complete. 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.

Up to now, 270,000 cubic yards of concrete have been used. The 144 additional piles to complete the wall will require another 20,000 cubic yards of concrete, DeBruyn said.

He estimated that 41 percent of the permanent wall is complete in Critical Area 1, an unstable section of the dam near where the earth wraps around the concrete monolith. This part of the structure is undermined with cavities that initially wouldn’t accept grout and ended up delaying the rehabilitation project about a year.

All the pilot holes in Critical Area 1 have been drilled, DeBruyn said. Pilot holes are 8 inches in diameter and guides the 50-inch drill as it descends 275 feet to form another part of the permanent wall.

Wolf Creek Dam has been plagued with seepage since the gates closed and the lake began to fill in December 1950. A serious leak developed in 1968 and was controlled by intense grouting and installation of a barrier wall during the 1970s.

Seepage continued and in 2005 an outside panel of experts declared Wolf Creek Dam in high risk of failure. A complete rehabilitation of the dam was deemed necessary at a cost now projected at $594 million.

Lake Cumberland in January 2007 was lowered 40 feet to ease pressure on the dam and facilitate rehabilitation of the dam. When the project is completed the lake will be raised in increments and each level will be monitored by more than 350 instrument in the dam.

The Corps hasn’t promised a full lake by Summer 2014 but Don Getty, manager of the rehabilitation project, assured it will be higher than it is now.

 

Bill Mardis may be contacted at bmardis@somerset-kentucky.com or telephone 451-4919.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Corps: Lake water fees may be coming

    Sometime, maybe three or four years down the road, Somerset and other communities that use water out of Lake Cumberland will pay fees for water drawn out of the lake. And, if Wolf Creek Dam springs another leak, communities along the lake might have to pay the cost of repairs.

    August 1, 2014

  • eubank school1.jt.jpg New cafeteria coming soon to Eubank Elementary

    Students at one elementary school in northern Pulaski County will be taking their lunches in the classroom for a bit while construction to its cafeteria continues. 

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOWNTOWN FLOWER FOTO.JPG Downtown beautification project underway

    No flowers yet, but the boxes are taking shape. A city beautification project is under way downtown and already completed are four elevated flower boxes –– three along the south side of the square in front of First and Farmers National Bank and one on the east side in front of Citizens National Bank’s downtown headquarters.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rift over firefighter pay finally history

    Somerset officials are closing the books on a years-long disagreement between the city and the state labor cabinet over overtime pay and other benefits for firefighters and EMS workers. 

    July 31, 2014

  • BURNSIDE LODGE-TURNER FOTO.jpg Turner to meet with commissioner on Burnside Island

    A state representative unhappy over secrecy surrounding possible privatization of General Burnside Island State Park said he will respond positively to an invitation to meet with Elaine Walker, commissioner of Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Ca

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Derek Kissee.jpg Science Hill man charged in Rockcastle County beating

    A Science Hill man has been accused of beating and leaving another Pulaski County man for dead in an abandoned Rockcastle County rock qu

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kingsford Fire 07-29-2014 KS 09.jpg No injuries, minimal damage at Kingsford Plant

    A normal production day at the Kingsford Charcoal Plant in southern Pulaski County was halted for a few hours while firefighters worked to put out a small blaze at the plant. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 020313 SCC Rogers BLdg-0286.jpg SCC tabbed as one of top places to work

    A national publication dedicated to all things secondary education has named Somerset Community College one of the best in the nation to work for. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Warning: Robo phone scam targeting local residents

    Authorities are warning local residents of a possible phone scam.

    July 28, 2014

  • Baskin Robbins Reopens 07-29-2014 JT 17.jpg Baskin Robbins is back in Somerset

    Even with two Dairy Queens, a new Orange Leaf and an ice cream truck, Somerset residents have still been screaming for more ice cream.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

News Live
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks