ONLINE UPDATE: March 10
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District announced Wednesday a partial suspension of work
on the Wolf Creek Dam Safety Major Rehabilitation Project in
Instrumentation used to monitor the foundation
has indicated movement and increased hydrostatic pressure since work
began in the area adjacent to the concrete section of the dam, which
includes Critical Area 1.
“As a precautionary measure, we have
suspended construction in Critical Area 1 while we evaluate the most
recent monitoring and instrumentation data,” stated Barney Davis,
Chief of Engineering and Construction Division for the Nashville
District. Critical Area 1 is the portion of the dam where the
earthen embankment ties into the concrete section and has been the
major source of seepage during the history of the dam’s operation.
“We want to ensure that our treatment
methods are effective and that we can safely install the remainder of
the concrete barrier wall,” Davis continued.
The suspension affects only 600 feet of
the 4400-foot long, 275-foot deep concrete barrier wall, which is the
major structural component of the $584 million rehabilitation
project. Work is continuing in the non-critical areas of the
dam, and Davis indicated that the Corps does not foresee any changes
to the lake operation plan at this time.
Instrumentation used to monitor the
dam's foundation is one of the Interim Risk Reduction Measures (IRRM)
in place at Wolf Creek. IRRM are designed to minimize risk to public
safety in the short term while pursuing long-term permanent fixes,
such as the ongoing rehabilitation project.
“Wolf Creek Dam is one of the most
heavily monitored dams in the country,” stressed Davis. “Our
instrumentation is doing its job and giving us the information we
need to protect public safety and effectively rehabilitate the dam.”