The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s Wolf Creek Dam Foundation Remediation Project recently reached a significant 500,000-hour achievement.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s Wolf Creek Dam Foundation Remediation Project reached a significant 500,000- hour achievement recently.

Treviicos-Soletanche J. V., the contractor for this project, has operated safely the past 263 days, and has reached 500,000 work-hours without an accident that would cause a worker to miss time on the job.

David Hendrix, the district’s project manager, calls it an “amazing feat,” given the buzz of activity that occurs on the work platform every day. He says work crews constantly are moving around, and machinery and drill rigs are running continuously. “So the ability to maintain a safe work environment in these conditions is a great accomplishment,” he says.

The Corps is approximately 62 percent complete on the installation of the new barrier wall, which is immediately upstream of the right-most concrete monoliths, and is being installed to stop seepage in the karst geology of the rock. When complete, the barrier wall will run the full length of the embankment into the right abutment of Wolf Creek Dam.

This project is the largest and most difficult foundation remediation project in the world, claims Fabio Santillan, the contractor’s project manager. “As such, its complexity from the dam safety, quality requirements and logistics and productivity points of view is unprecedented. This unparalleled combination of requirements imposes additional challenges to those that are already very stringently present on this particular branch of the construction industry. These production rates exceed those originally anticipated at the beginning of the project,” he explains. “This accomplishment demonstrates that a safe environment favors good production.”

Lt. Col. James DeLapp, the Nashville District commander, says reaching the  500,000 work-hours without any significant accident is a life-, cost- and time-saving objective that the Corps and the contractor both can be proud of reaching. “It shows safety on the job is the main priority as the Corps continues to move forward as fast and safely as possible to complete the foundation remediation project,” DeLapp explains. “Accidents can ultimately cause delays, so working safe is important to us and the local communities that are eager for the project to reach its completion.”

Kathy Lust, Nashville District’s resident engineer for the construction project, says the contractor is to be commended for a commitment to safety and for partnering with the Corps to put such a great emphasis on safety during all phases of work. “The construction is taking place in very confined spaces with lots of moving pieces, so working so many hours and days without accidents really is notable,” Lust says. “And working together to keep people safe is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of this achievement.”  ND