Commonwealth Journal

Local News

July 13, 2007

$54 million secured for dam repairs

$54 million has been secured in a bill approved yesterday by the House Appropriations Committee to go toward the continued repair efforts at Wolf Creek Dam, according to U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers’ office.

Included in the fiscal year 2008 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, the funding follows another $44 million Rogers worked to include for the dam’s repair earlier this year.

The project, which carries a $309 million price tag, is purposed to fix seepage problems at Wolf Creek Dam over the course of seven years, although hopes are it can be done sooner than that. In order to ease the pressure on the dam, the level of Lake Cumberland has been lowered substantially to an elevation of 680 feet above sea level — a development which has caused a tidal wave of controversy in Pulaski County and the Lake Cumberland community as a whole.

Repair plans include installing a new concrete diaphragm to alleviate the problems with the porous foundation the dam was originally built on.

According to Rogers’ office, the congressman is working with the U.S. Corps of Engineers to identify ways to move up the estimated 2012 completion date and minimize both cost overruns and the economic impact to the Lake Cumberland community. In June, Rogers announced Small Business Administration low-interest loans are available for business impacted by lower lake levels.

“Obtaining these funds is a critical next step in getting this dam fixed once and for all,” said Rogers. “The Corps knows the challenge before them is to put this money to work and get it done.”

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