In March 7 IssueBy Greg WellsRCN Managing Editor
The money recently announced for re-construction of Wolf Creek Dam is not, according to Army Corps of Engineer officials, a new appropriation. It is authorization for this year's appropriation for the multi-year plan.
As to what has been going on at the dam Allison Jarrett with the Nashville district of the Corps the contractor has been installing more instruments to monitor the dam as they proceed with grouting and installing the wall within the dam.
William Flicknger, an on-site engineer for the Corps said a great deal of work has gone into putting in a new access for Ray Mann Road and to widening the work platform on the upstream side of the dam.
He said the new road is to keep construction equipment and private cars as separate as possible, to keep risk of a collision to a minimum.
Flicknger said the widening of the work platform by about 18 feet has required moving a great deal of rock from the old Halcomb's Landing area to the work area on the side of the dam.
In recent weeks the face of the dam has begun to change, and more recently more and more equipment has been arriving at the site. Just this week the offices for the contractor, Triviicos-Soletanche, arrived and are being assembled.
Daniel Koziol, the lead technical engineer for Triviicos-Soletanche, said they have been very busy, whether it was noticeable from the road or not. He explained that there was a massive amount of planning and scheduling necessary for the project to progress.
But he showed off the construction work they have done, pointing not just the widening of the work platform, but also the trench with reinforced concrete guide-walls in the platform between lines of the grout holes.
Koziol said the guide-walls will do just as their name implies, guide the equipment down into the earthen portion of the dam.
The clamshell buckets for digging the first portion of the wall have already been delivered, as have the hydro-mill heads and portions of the 120-ton crane that will be doing the excavation work.
He explained that the clamshell bucket will be used to dig down to a level in the dam where the pumps will not be pumping uphill to the digging head.
Koziol showed off the specially designed hydro-mill heads.
"This one turns like this, toward the center and the other side turns also to the center and the fluid flows around pushing the spoils up to the pipe," Kaziol said.
Where all the equipment is being staged right now they are building a separator for extracting the dirt and rock from the liquid slurry that will be used to lubricate the cutting. There are ponds under construction that will hold that cutting lubricant as it is mixed before pumping out to the rig on the platform.
The engineer explained that they will dig every other shaft along the slit trench and leave the cutting fluid in place to maintain the trench until the other crane will come along to place concrete in that hole.
He said they will pump in the concrete from the bottom of the hole, pulling up and disassembling the delivery pipe as they force in the concrete.
After a section of borings have been completed and hardened, Kaziol explained they will come back and dig out and concrete in the shafts that were passed up previously.
The equipment is still coming in to do the work, and they are still hiring the people they will need to do that work.
Staff in the company's office said they have been hiring workers locally, but noted that the company needs workers with very specific skill sets.
The Corps' engineer, Flicknger, said the general contractor has been hiring local firms to do the sub-contracting work and they are taking on local works where possible to complete the 3-5 years work repairing Wolf Creek Dam.