Olmos Dam Modifications

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1982, Vol. 52, Issue 6, Pg. 54-55

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: (1981 OCEA Nominee.) The 55-year-old Olmos Dam, five and one-half miles northeast of San Antonio, Texas, required major modifications to avoid a potential overtopping or structural failure. Such an event could occur from flash floods which sometimes sweep the San Antonio River Basin, resulting from unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico. One costly proposal would have added a layer of mass concrete to the entire downstream face of the dam; instead, designers found a way to bolster the non-overflow sections of the dam with prestressing tendons, avoiding the application of more concrete. Explosives were also used to remove the topmost portions of the dam to make way for new construction, a first in the annals of dam renovation.

Subject Headings: ASCE outstanding civil engineering | Concrete dams | Dam safety | Floods | Prestressing

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