Recycling Penn Forest Dam

by Bill Bingham, Vice Pres.; Gannett Fleming, Inc., Harrisburg, PA,
Rod Holderbaum, Chf. Engr.; Gannett Fleming, Inc., Harrisburg, PA,
Wendell Sherman, Dir. of Public Works; Bethlehem, PA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 8, Pg. 40-42

Document Type: Feature article


Almost since it's construction more than 30 years ago, the Penn Forest Dam had suffered severe seepage, leading officials in Bethlehem, Penn., to wonder how secure their largest single source of raw fresh water really was. Recently, the city commissioned Gannett Fleming, Inc., Harrisburg, PA., to recommend a course of action. The company studied the dam, which holds back 6.4 billion gal. of water, and suggested three possible courses of action: a concrete cut-off wall through the center of the dam; an embankment liner and foundation cutoff; and a roller-compacted concrete replacement dam. The company recommended the final option, which would recycle portions of the original dam and create one of the largest roller-compacted concrete dams in the U.S. Construction of the $23 million project begins in August.

Subject Headings: Concrete dams | Embankment dams | Dam foundations | Recycling | Forests | Dams | Materials characterization | Infrastructure construction | Pennsylvania | United States

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