Commonwealth Journal

Local News

August 25, 2013

Wolf Creek Sam safety review ‘no big deal’ according to Getty

Somerset — A planned safety review this winter that could clear Wolf Creek Dam for normal operation is not expected to be a big deal.

Don B. Getty, manager of the Wolf Creek Dam Rehabilitation Project, said this week the safety review probably won’t last but a couple of hours. The review will be done by a panel of experts looking at information now being assembled by engineers at the Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Since the protective concrete barrier wall was completed in March there is no indication of problems at the dam, Getty said. The $594 million rehabilitation project included insertion of a wall of concrete, 4000 feet long, 275 feet deep and at least two feet thick on the upstream side of the earthen section of the dam.     

Including grouting (pumping liquid concrete in the dam) and creation of the barrier wall, engineers say enough concrete was put in the dam to build a sidewalk five feet wide from Jamestown to Washington D.C. Pyle Concrete Inc. of Columbia built a new plant across U.S. 127 from Lake Cumberland State Park to supply concrete for the dam.

The rehabilitation project, of a scope never before done in the world, was necessary after Wolf Creek Dam in 2005 was classified in high risk of failure. The dam was built above porous limestone rock that deteriorates in water. Over the more than 60-year life of the dam, caverns, some 40 feet wide, developed beneath the structure and seepage became uncontrolled.

  Wolf Creek Dam is the most monitored structure of its kind in the world. More than 300 instruments that detect water and soil movement have been installed in the dam. Some are so sophisticated that Corps engineers in Nashville are electronically alerted in case of a problem.

  The lake was held about 40 feet below normal for more than six years while the dam was being repaired. The level was allowed to rise 20 feet this summer following completion of the concrete barrier wall.

  The annual drawdown of Lake Cumberland has begun and the target for Labor Day weekend is at or about 698 feet above sea level. That will be about 3 feet lower than the current level.

  After summer’s final holiday, the drawdown will continue until the lake is at 690 feet above sea level (11 feet lower than now) by early to mid October. The lake will remain at this level for several months while the remaining rock used to stabilize the earthen section of the dam during rehabilitation is removed from the work platform. Also, large riprap (broken stones loosely deposited to provide a protective foundation) will be put in place.

  Getty said if the dam passes this winter’s safety review, plans are to go back to normal operation next spring. Normal level during the summer vacation season is 723 feet above sea level, or at the tree line. At this level, Lake Cumberland averages 90 feet deep and stretches from near Corbin through Pulaski County to west of Jamestown. It is 101 miles long has more than 1,200 miles of shoreline.

 A level of 723 feet is not guaranteed during summer 2014. To reach this level Mother Nature must cooperate with plenty of rainfall during spring and early summer.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • DOWNTOWN SIDEWALK FOTO.JPG Heated sidewalks provide sparks for workers
    A heated sidewalk to melt snow and ice was “quite the thing” a half century ago in a small town like Somerset. This town’s first and only electrically warmed sidewalk was installed facing Fountain Square alongside First and Farmers National Bank when the bank’s downtown headquarters building was constructed in 1963-64.
    As snow fell, the warm sidewalk melted a walkway about 2 feet wide alongside the bank. It was the talk of the town; quite a gimmick.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 021614 Citizens 11 Boyd randolph.jpg Somerset Schools will fight ruling

    The recent hearing regarding the conflict with county schools over non-resident students might not have gone Somerset’s way, but that doesn’t mean they’re done fighting.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

News Live
AP Video
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 Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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