Dam Safety & Security

Wanapum Dam rehabilitation continues with anchor tendon installation

Grant County Public Utility District and its contractors completed the installation of the first steel anchor tendon the Wanapum Dam in Washington in mid-September.

The tendon, one of 35 that will eventually be installed as part of the restoration project at this dam and its 1,038-MW hydro plant, will allow the water levels upstream of the dam to be partially raised in the fourth quarter of 2014, pending Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval.

Each of the 200-foot-long anchor tendons will begin at the top of the spillway and end deep in the bedrock below Wanapum Dam, ensuring the long-term stability of the spillway structure. Work is also being done to install more than 50 steel anchor bars to repair Wanapum Dam’s pier monolith No. 4, which was discovered as being cracked earlier this year.

The utility said the operational and repair costs of the project are estimated at $69 million, with Grant County PUD paying for the bulk of the work by using cash reserves and selling bonds.

McArthur Falls, Seven Sisters receiving safety reviews

Canadian utility Manitoba Hydro plans to perform dam safety reviews at its 55-MW McArthur Falls and 165-MW Seven Sisters projects.

The reviews include a failure modes and effects analysis for McArthur Falls only, with both sites receiving reviews of the associated structures based on site layouts found in each station’s dam safety reference manual.

The utility took bids in June to perform core drilling on the spillway and concrete dam at Seven Sisters.

McArthur Falls and Seven Sisters are among six Manitoba Hydro projects located on the Winnipeg River.

ASDSO awards two scholarships for dam safety work

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials has selected Jamie Bond and Emily Keck as the recipients of its 2014-15 Senior Undergraduate Scholarship.

The ASDSO scholarship program, now in its 23rd year, awards up to US$10,000 to students “enrolled in accredited programs in engineering or related fields” who are “planning careers related to the design, construction, or operation of dams.”

The winning pair of applications were selected from a pool of 34, ASDSO said, with Bond and Keck each receiving a $5,000 scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year, a complimentary association student membership and free registration to ASDSO’s annual conference in September.

“All of this year’s candidates were highly qualified, but we were especially impressed by Jamie and Emily’s dam safety-related activities, as well as their impressive academic standing,” ASDSO scholarship chairman John Moyle said.

Bond is a senior majoring in civil engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology. She currently assists with levee inspections for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District, in addition to participating with OIT’s steel bridge competition team. She is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has worked on increasing membership for OIT’s student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Meanwhile, Keck is a senior at Rowan University, majoring in civil and environmental engineering. She has recently worked for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Control, where she reviewed engineering reports and assisted with inspections. Keck is a member of the American Society of Engineers, Engineers Without Borders and The Society of Women Engineers.

Corps awards multiple contracts for construction, rehab work

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a number of contracts for work that includes heavy and civil engineering construction services, site stabilization and remedial waterstop repairs across several of its districts.

The Corps’ Buffalo District awarded contracts to Strock Enterprises Ltd., Upstate Construction Services, Geo Gradel Co., Great Lakes Dock and Materials LLC, Huffman Equipment Rental Inc., ODDO Construction Services LLC, Ryba Marine Construction Co., SAF Inc. and Tidewater Inc. for construction activities along the U.S. border from Ohio to Maine, and possibly in the New York/Pennsylvania and Ohio Operations and Maintenance offices area of responsibility, and possibly elsewhere in the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. The available funding for the contract pool is $40 million over five years.

The Corps also awarded a $950,088 contract to Aspen Construction Co. for dam safety site stabilization work at Kentucky’s 270-MW Wolf Creek Dam. Aspen, of Hackensack, Minn., is to perform site stabilization at the dam and hydropower project, including downstream berm regrading, installation of a trench drain system, tailwater piping removal, and excavation and disposal area seeding.

After identifying the earthfill and concrete gravity dam as critically near failure or having extremely high life or economic risk, the Corps awarded contracts in 2011 for a grout curtain and in 2013 for geotechnical engineering. Also in 2013, the Corps poured the last of 1,200 concrete piles required to mitigate seepage through the karst geology deep in Wolf Creek Dam’s foundation.

Last, the Corps awarded a $559,000 contract to Emagineered Solutions Inc. for remedial waterstop repairs in the upstream monolith joints at the 494.3-MW Big Bend project. The work is to include construction management and installation services for drilling and installing new waterstops in upstream monolith joints 3/4 and 5/6 of the Big Bend powerhouse.

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