Seepage Cutoff Wall Installed Through Dam is Construction First

by Frank B. Couch, Jr., (M.ASCE), Chf.; Foundations & Materials Branch, U.S. Corps of Engineers, Nashville, Tenn.,
Arturo L. Ressi di Cervia, (M.ASCE), Exec. Vice-Pres.; ICOS Corp. of America, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 1, Pg. 62-66

Document Type: Feature article


A new construction technique has been developed which provides a permanent solution to the foundation problems at Wolf Creek Dam. Muddy flows and sinkholes discovered in 1968 led to a remedial grouting program which prevented a major failure. However, after making extensive studies, an internationally distinguished board of consultants concluded these measures were not adequate to ensure the integrity of the embankment and recommended the construction of a concrete diaphragm wall. The project, currently in progress, is the first to allow for the installation of a continuous, water-tight cutoff through massive rock formations while maintaining a high reservoir pool. Basically, the wall consists of sections which combine two primary elements (concrete filled steel cylinders 26-in. diameter) and a secondary (a flat structure which connects to the adjacent primaries). The total cost of the wall construction will be $96,416,500, and a construction period of 62 months will be required.

Subject Headings: Seepage | Diaphragm walls | Dams | Infrastructure construction

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