In July 1 Issue
An evaluation continues with a focus being the cracks in the roadway over Wolf Creek Dam on Lake Cumberland, according to a Corps statement recently.
"The purpose of the evaluation at this point is to determine what is causing those cracks to widen," said Mike Zoccola. "They could be caused by something as innocuous as weather or temperature, or possibly changes in lake levels, or they could be indicative of deeper shifting of the embankment."
Zoccola is the US Army Corps of Engineers' chief of civil design at the local district office. He emphasized that the dam is not in imminent danger. "We're being overly cautious," he said. "We are installing more instruments and taking the time to confirm the movements are not signs of deeper shifting of the embankment before we proceed with our construction efforts."
Recent reports that new cracks have suddenly appeared on the roadway over Wolf Creek Dam are inaccurate, according to the Army's most recent statement. The Corps' officials report they have been monitoring these cracks for several years, and widening of the cracks were one of the reasons work was suspended in March in the 600-foot section of the dam nearest the concrete embankment.
"We observed several months ago that some of these cracks had widened about ½ inch to an inch since the beginning of the year," explained Zoccola.
He said that movement and other small changes in instrumentation readings prompted the partial work suspension in March.
"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, in a March 10 news release from the Corps.
Critical Area 1 is the portion of the dam where the earthen embankment wraps around the concrete section and the Corps has consistently reported it as the major source of seepage during the history of the dam's operation.
The Corps contends that evaluation and testing will also show whether construction work in that area was contributing to the movement. They say that results of the tests are expected in August.
"We want to ensure that our treatment methods are effective and that we can safely install the remainder of the concrete barrier wall," said Davis.
Meanwhile other changes at Kendall Recreation area have prompted whispered speculation.
Bret Call, the Lake Cumberland resource manager, said the closure of the main campground was announced in February, and is due to planned construction.
"It is a planned temporary closure," said Call. "The main part of the campground will be closed for maintenance -we're replacing water and electric service."
He said the pipes and wiring had been in place for over 30 years and an upgrade was needed to keep up with the demands of larger recreational vehicles and campers that focus on more creature comforts than the pop-up campers and truck campers that were more common years ago.
He said that though the 82 sites in the main campground are not available for reservations past August 1st, the 35 sites in the annex are and will be available for camping, as those sites were only recently constructed.