Kamburu Dam: Diversion Conduit Designed into Spillway Saves $1,000,000

by Ronald A. Antonino, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Editor; Buttenheim Publishing Corp., Huntington, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 56-60

Document Type: Feature article

Errata: (See full record)


Careful coordination of dam construction operation with river stages over several seasons, and a construction sequence that called for building the spillway, in effect, from the top down, added up to $1,000,000 savings in construction costs for Kamburu Dam in Kenya.The $45,000,000 dam is part of Kamburu Hydroelectric Development, located on the Tana River about 160 km northeast of Nairobi. The revised river diversion scheme eliminated the need for special diversion tunnels and minimized the number of temporary works needed, making maximum use of permanent structures to pass the river flow around the construction site. The main rockfill dam has a crest length of 900 m, stands 56 m high and has some 900,000 m³ of fill in it. Major elements of the diversion works consisted of the lower halves of the 3-gated spillway, the 1-km-long discharge channel connecting the spillway with the river downstream, and a rockfill diversion dam. The diversion was in effect for 12 months, after which only the diversion dam itself did not remain a permanent part of the construction.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure construction | Rivers and streams | Rock fills | Dams | Conduits | Hydraulic design | Spillways | High-rise buildings

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