Restoration of a Buttress Dam

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by Robert A. Thompson, III, Freese and Nichols, Inc, United States,
Ronald H. Waters, Freese and Nichols, Inc, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Optimizing the Resources for Water Management:

Abstract: Inspections of Morris Shepard Dam on the Brazos River in Texas revealed serious defects in the dam and its foundation. Piezometric pressures below the spillway buttresses greatly exceeded the assumptions of no uplift used in the original design. Certain buttresses along the south side of the spillway had moved downstream as much as 4.5 inches. This movement had sheared the connection between the upstream toe wall/water seal and transition beam forming the footing for the upstream deck panels. This movement was enough to crack the hearth and its deflector toe wall downstream of these buttresses. Erosion downstream of the hearth had weakened the sliding resistance of 7 buttresses and the spillway was inadequate to pass the Probable Maximum Flood. This paper summarizes the major features of the investigation and restoration effort for this high hazard classification dam.

Subject Headings: Dam foundations | Rivers and streams | Dams | Spillways | Load and resistance factor design | Uplifting behavior | Landslides | Defects and imperfections | Inspection | North America | Texas | United States

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