Earth Reinforced Dams: First in U.S.

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1983, Vol. 53, Issue 10, Pg. 60-63

Document Type: Feature article


Earth reinforcement has in recent years been applied in the restoration and construction of dams. Earth reinforcement has been used to raise dam heights, replace traditional earth embankments with vertical faces, and build spillways. Four case studies examine the use of Reinforced Earth, a patented earth reinforcing product. In Austin, Tex., the Woodhollow Dam was built between two apartment complexes to protect an adjacent highway from flooding. In 1981, The Woodhollow Dam withstood a storm which reached magnitudes close to a 500-year flood. Reinforced Earth was used to restore a deteriorating spillway in New York State's Jamesville Dam. The Reinforced Earth design enabled most of the work to be completed on the dam's downstream side strengthening the dam without draining the reservoir activities. More recently, the design alternative was applied to Northern Montana's Lake Sherburne Dam. Two 24 ft (7.3 m) high Reinforced Earth walls were used to raise the earthfill dam's crest. The Taylor Draw Dam in Rangeley, Colo., to be completed in December 1983, is the highest Reinforced Earth Dam in the U.S. The completed dam will have a 74 ft (22.6 m) high zoned embankment, with a crest length of 1,250 ft (348 m).

Subject Headings: Soil stabilization | Earthfill dams | Spillways | Case studies | Wood | Floods | Infrastructure construction | Residential buildings | New York | United States

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