“We will aggressively lower the water level (to the 690 level),” Getty said. Water is currently being released through the dam at the rate of 21,800 cubic feet per second. If the go-ahead is given for normal operation, Getty emphasized it will take plenty of rain this spring for the lake to reach pool stage of 723 feet by the summer vacation season.
Among the projects now under way at the dam is reducing to 30 feet the width of the work platform on the upstream side, and laying riprap to prevent erosion.
Treviicos-Soletanche JV, general contractor for the dam project, is still at the dam site extending a cutoff wall near the electrical switchyard immediately below the dam. Engineers believe rapidly rising and lowering of water in the tailrace may be undermining the switchyard where two large sinkholes developed during the late 1960s.
The 180-foot extension of the cutoff wall is about half completed and will be finished by late winter, Getty said this week. The below-ground cutoff wall is being fashioned the same as the permanent concrete wall in the dam by drilling overlapping 50-inch holes. The cutoff wall is not as deep as the wall in the dam.
Other work at the dam includes redesigning the sharp intersection at U.S. 127 and the road leading to Kendall Recreation Area, fish hatchery and tailwater.
“This (redesigned intersection) will make it easier for boats and trailers to make the turn,” said Getty.
Drainage issues along U.S. 127 atop Wolf Creek Dam will be corrected, Getty noted. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is designing a new section of 127 that will take the highway off the dam, but apparently no decision has been made about the future of the roadway atop the dam.