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
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