Nashville Mayor Karl Dean recently visited Wolf Creek Dam to see the ongoing foundation remediation construction, which is a dam safety project of vital importance to the citizens he represents 270 miles downstream.  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District provided them with a project update and shared how the dam in eastern Kentucky ultimately supplies a stream of benefits throughout middle Tennessee.

"This project is important to the city of Nashville, and there are two things I got from today's trip," Dean says. "Number one is understanding where we are on the Wolf Creek Project. It appears to be progressing, and I am anxious to see the project completed. And secondly, getting an overview of how the entire system works in middle Tennessee and in Kentucky, in terms of not only flood control, but the production of energy, and navigation, and how they are all related."

Project Officer 1st Lt. Allen Stansbury provided the mayor a technical briefing that included the history of seepage and previous remediation efforts along the dam's 3,940-foot embankment. He also explained the challenges involved with the karst geology under the dam and embankment, the construction process for the barrier wall, and ongoing work where the embankment wraps around the concrete structure of the dam.

Stansbury explained the five-step construction process of pressure grouting; installing a protective concrete embankment wall, pilot holes, and barrier wall; and verifying the quality of work completed with core samples. He reported that the pressure grouting and installation of the protective embankment wall are 100-percent complete. The pilot holes, which guide the larger drill bits deep below the foundation into bedrock, are 96 percent complete. The barrier wall installation is 78-percent finished, and the overall project is on target for its completion in December 2013.

Dean then walked on the work platform where work crews are constantly moving around, and machinery and drill rigs are continuously running. He looked at the specialized drilling equipment and watched as work crews from Treviicos-Soletanche J. V., the contractor for this project, drilled into the embankment.

Lake Cumberland sits behind Wolf Creek Dam and is the largest reservoir east of the Mississippi River. The lake's huge water-storage capability provides Nashville with important flood risk reduction, and additional water resources supporting commercial navigation, water supply, water quality, hydropower and environmental benefits.