LANCASTER, Tenn. (May 3, 2012) – U.S. Rep. Diane Black visited Center Hill Dam today to see firsthand the ongoing foundation remediation project and to receive updates from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District personnel overseeing the work.
The $295 million project is designed to fix seepage problems in the foundation of the earthen portions of the dam. Grouting of voids in the foundation rock is already complete, and the Nashville District awarded a contract to Bauer Foundation Corporation in September 2011 to install a permanent barrier wall as the long-term solution to stop the seepage and keep the earthen main dam safe. The contractor is mobilizing now and work is expected to begin this summer.
Black visited Center Hill Dam to learn about the project and the issues that impact the people of the 6th Congressional District.
“I need to learn what is being done here and how it will impact the people I represent,” said Black. “This is very helpful for me to see where the dollars are being spent since appropriations are coming from the federal government. I also want to understand the issues, whether there is a risk here, the power generation, the drinking water supply so there are a lot of issues that are related to how I represent the people of this district.”
Linda Adcock, project manager, and David Loyd, the resident engineer, updated the congressman on the history and status of the project.
“Congressman Black was genuinely interested in understanding the seepage problem and ongoing rehab work at Center Hill and how her district's constituents were being impacted,” said Adcock. “Resident Engineer David Loyd and I provided a general description of risk-based decision making, construction of grout curtains and barrier wall, which will make the dam safer, and how the cost will be shared by hydropower and water supply users.”
Loyd is in charge of the day-to-day progress of the rehab and the technical aspects of the construction. He gave Black a tour of the main elements of the project.
“We wanted to convey to Congressman Black the magnitude of the rehabilitation-construction efforts and the logistical and geological challenges that entails,” said Loyd.
Black toured the left rim area that includes sink holes, including one that is over 60 feet in diameter. Grouting was completed in 2010 along this rim as part of the first phase of the project.
“The amount of caves and sinkholes and other geological features that are here are very interesting,” said Black. “The Corps is doing a great job out here. Linda is a good teacher. Being here, seeing it and understanding it is very helpful.”
The next phase of construction is to enlarge the work surface along the upstream side of the lake’s main dam earthen embankment, and to construct approximately 200,000 square feet of concrete panels and columns. That work is accomplished in two phases through the embankment then extending downward as much as 132 feet into foundation rock to form a minimum two-foot thick continuous barrier wall.
Highway 96 across the dam is planned to remain open, yet one lane will be closed as the work progresses. Long Branch Campground downstream of the dam is slated to remain open throughout the two and one-half year contract.
According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports, Center Hill Dam is considered a high risk dam because of the seepage problems, the large reservoir, and the proximity to populated and metropolitan areas.
For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, visit the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil
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