Construction and Operation of Wells Dam

by Joseph Anderson, (M.ASCE), Manager; Constr. of Churchill Falls Power Development, Labrador, New Foundland, Canada; formerly, Proj. Constr. Mgr., Bechtel Inc., San Francisco, CA,
Lee A. Wyngaard, Operation Engr.; Public Utility Dist. No. 1 of Douglas County, East Wenatchee, WA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Power Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 2, Pg. 335-349

Document Type: Journal Paper


The construction and initial operation of the $202,000,000 Wells Hydro Electric Project on the Columbia River is described. A unique structured arrangement, known as Hydrocombine, forms the main feature of the project which combines spillway and power release flows and results in considerable cost saving. A breakdown into the main groupings of contracts for bidding and construction purposes are shown with related cash flow and manpower charts covering the full construction period. Work included under the main contract is described in a historical sequence of the construction of the various project features, including commissioning and the related bonus provisions offered for early power generation. Particular emphasis is placed on the cofferdamming and river handling methods employed to regulate and control this major waterway.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure construction | Dams | Rivers and streams | Wells (water) | Drop structures | Spillways | Hydro power | Construction costs

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