$44.3 million project to strengthen the Bolivar Dam is a little ahead of schedule.
Work began last year, and at the current pace, may be complete slightly ahead of a targeted date of July 2018, according to Ken Woodard, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Woodard provided Stark County commissioners a progress update on Tuesday. The 77-year-old dry dam, on the Sandy Creek, is located in both Tuscarawas and Stark counties. The Army Corps funded about three-quarters of the cost, with the remainder covered by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, which includes 18 counties.
Engineers determined repair was needed.
“Failure (of the dam) would impact tens of thousands of people and do billions of dollars of damage,” Woodard explained.
And Charlestown, Mass.-based TREVIICOS is the general contractor, aided by three main subcontractors. Assisted by on-site concrete and slurry plants, TREVIICOS is in the process of installing a nearly mile-long three-foot-thick and 144-foot deep barrier wall along the base of the dam to decrease seepage and to slow water flow.
Crews are working in two 12-hour shifts, Mondays through Fridays. The barrier is installed in 30-foot-long sections. By last week, roughly 31 percent of the total length was complete. The Pike Township road along the top of the dam will remain closed throughout construction. And a nearby playground also is closed, though fishing access has not been restricted.
Woodard said it’s important that people stay out of the construction area because of the depth of the trench that’s been created for the barrier. He said they had some concerns about stability of the glacial soil being excavated, but have not encountered any major problems.
A dry dam, the Bolivar Dam doesn’t have a permanent lake behind it. The control dam, though, does retain water during periods of heavy rain, to prevent downstream flooding.
By Tim Botos
Courtesy of CantonRep.com