Foundation Flaws Make Kentucky's Wolf Creek Dam a High-Risk Priority
February 27, 2012
If Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House flooded with 20 feet of water, the best seats in the house would be in the balcony.
That could happen if Wolf Creek Dam, near Jamestown, Ky., had a critical failure. Grand Ole Opry performers 275 miles downstream would have to be evacuated, and the estimated damages could run up to $6 billion. The risk of the dam's failure makes a $594-million remediation a top priority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Work is now 74% complete as contractors fight seepage that is dissolving—or "solutioning"—the karst-limestone foundation under the dam. Remediation consists of building a 275-ft-deep, 3,800-ft-long concrete wall composed of secant piles and rectangular panels installed through the clay embankment and into the rock of the dam within a 5-in. tolerance...
By Luke Abaffy
Courtesy of ENR.com Video Library