Dam Engineers Go Over the Top

by John R. King, P.E., Principal; Freese & Nichols, Inc., 300 Highland Mall Blvd., Austin, TX,
Richard K. Frithiof, P.E., Senior Water Resources Engineer; Lower Colorado River Authority, P.O. Box 220, Austin, TX,
Lewis B. Yates, Jr., P.E., Manager; Geotechnical Services, Trinity Engineering Testing Corp., 3601 Manor Rd., Austin, TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 1, Pg. 63-65

Document Type: Feature article


In the 1980s, dam engineers with the Lower Colorado River Authority worried that the Wirtz Dam, near Austin, Texas, would fail in the event of a maximum probable flood. They looked to soil-cement overtopping as a solution, and prepared for what would be the largest overtopping project in the country.

Subject Headings: Dam failures | Wave overtopping | Soil cement | Rivers and streams | Project management | Floods

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