Commonwealth Journal

Homepage

April 20, 2013

Wolf Creek repairs now part of history

(Continued)

Russell County, KY —

  Problem was, when Wolf Creek Dam was constructed before and immediately after World War II, cavities in the limestone base were packed with clay. Over time, the clay washed out, leaving caverns, some 40 feet tall, inside the dam.
Two huge sinkholes in the electrical grid below the dam and muddy water in the tailrace during the late 1960s signaled a near breach of the structure. Cities along the Cumberland River, from Burkesville to Nashville, got nervous and there was talk of mass evacuations.
A too-short barrier wall and extensive grouting (pumping liquid concrete in the dam) during the 1970s provided a temporary fix, but the leaks continued.
An outside panel of experts in 2005 declared Wolf Creek Dam in high risk of failure. In August 2005, the Corps announced publicly that a complete rehabilitation of the dam was necessary.
The first grouting contract was let in 2006 and, in January 2007, the water level was lowered 40 feet to ease pressure on the dam and facilitate the rehabilitation project. Treviicos-Soletanche JV, an Italian-French corporation, was selected as general contractor in July 2008 to insert a permanent barrier wall in the dam to make it safe.
The wall, fashioned with overlapping 50-inch holes filled with concrete, extends 275 feet from a created work platform on the upstream side of the dam to about 100 feet into the limestone bedrock beneath the dam. The project is of a scope never before done in the world. 
The earthen section of the dam is bolstered with two additional walls: A shorter barrier wall extending about 15 feet into the limestone bedrock was installed during the 1970s following the near breech of the dam during the late 1960s, Also, remaining in the dam is a protective concrete embankment wall fashioned with 6 feet-by-9 feet concrete panels to stabilize the earthen embankment while the most recent wall was inserted.
“I think the Corps has done a fantastic job,” said J.D. Hamilton, owner of Lee’s Ford Marina Resort. “I believe it is a 100 year fix for the dam.”

Text Only
Local News
Baskin Robbins Reopens 07-29-2014 JT 17.jpg

Raven Hardwick, 6, enjoys a bite of ice cream Monday afternoon at Baskin Robbins. The store reopened Saturday with new owners, new staff and new flavors.

Local Sports
Russell

Somerset-Pulaski 13-year-old All-Star Bryce Russell takes a cut at the ball in the local team’s 4-2 win over South Lexington on Tuesday in the opening round of the East Kentucky Babe Ruth State Tournament at Ward Correll Sports Complex.

Features
Counting Crows.JPG

Adam Duritz (left) and Counting Crows

  • Duritz: ‘I like playing festivals’

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • brass band.jpg Brass band sound coming to Pulaski County

    A new sound is blowing into Somerset — and is hoping to attract some of the town’s top brass. Literally.

    May 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cory Paints.jpg Autistic man expresses himself through art

    Take a walk down the main hallway of the Stoner Building on the campus of Somerset Community College starting in April, and you might think you’re surrounded by a gorgeous array of storyboards for Disney Pixar films: Brightly colored animals romping about in lavish jungle scenes, the kind of thing likely to bring a smile to any child’s face.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

News Live
Pulaski-Southwestern basketball doubleheader


Check out more action photos at www.somerset-kentucky.smugmug.com

AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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