Modern Engineering Saves Troubled Dam

by James M. Tolle, (M.ASCE), Project Engr.; DMJM/Phillips-Reister-Haley, Denver, Colorado,
Lynn A. Brown, (F.ASCE), Resident Geologist; L.A.B., Inc., Golden, Colorado,
Peter Simard, (M.ASCE), Resident Engr.; DMJM/Phillips-Reister-Haley, Denver, Colorado,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 6, Pg. 78-80

Document Type: Feature article


A badly deteriorated and potentially unsafe dam has been recycled. The 135-ft-high, 300-ft-long LaPrele Dam is a concrete slab-and-buttress structure. Its sloping face slab has leaked since its 1909 construction and was badly damaged by freeze-thaw. Instead of being demolished, the dam received a new face slab to resist bitter Wyoming winters. Foundation and abutment leakage, which has also plagued the dam since its construction, is now controlled by a grout curtain along the dam's upstream face and by void grouting beneath its foundation. Posttensioned rock bolts anchor the dam to bedrock, increasing the dam's resistance to sliding and overturning. A new spillway provides for a safe discharge of major floods.

Subject Headings: Slabs | Dam foundations | Dams | Concrete dams | Leakage | Foundation construction | Grouting | Deterioration | Wyoming | United States

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