Commonwealth Journal

News Live

June 19, 2014

Work is still ongoing at Wolf Creek Dam

Somerset —

After nearly 1,000 photographs and stories in the Commonwealth Journal since August 2005 about problems and repairs at Wolf Creek Dam, Lake Cumberland has returned to normal operation and news flow from the dam site has slowed. However, considerable work is still under way on the downstream side of the mile-long structure.
Don Getty, manager of the $594 million Wolf Creek Dam Rehabilitation Project, said advertisements for construction bids currently are out to replace an aging drainage pipe network below the dam.
“We’re trying to separate surface water  ... that affects instrumentation inside the dam,” said Getty. Wolf Creek Dam is the most instrumented dam in the world. The instruments, several of which radio conditions to the Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, monitor both water pressure and material movement inside the dam.
Other contracts will be let, Getty noted. Expected to be advertised this fall or winter is a contract to redesign the intersection of U.S. 27 that crosses the dam and the road that leads to Kendall Recreation Area immediately below the dam. The existing intersection is extremely difficult for motorists northbound on 127 to make a left turn toward Kendall. The realignment is expected to be done next spring and summer, Getty said.
This contract will also include work at the former Halcomb’s Landing, an area used during the past seven years as an equipment parking area for contractors working on the dam. The contractors are gone and plans are to make this an overflow parking area for the relocated Halcomb’s Landing, Getty said.
Another project is to get vegetative cover on a 40-acre disposal area filled with waste materials generated during insertion of a 2-feet thick, 4,000-feet-long, 275-feet-deep concrete wall through the earthen section of the dam. 
“We need topsoil to cover the disposal area,” Getty remarked. He said the Corps will be excavating to assist U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife in creating a new Hatchery Creek for trout fishermen.  The topsoil from this excavation will be used to cover the disposal area, Getty indicated.

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