TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

State News

August 6, 2013

Cutoff wall being built at Wolf Creek Dam

CORBIN — SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — Construction on a cutoff wall has started at Wolf Creek Dam with officials saying it is designed to prevent erosion from undermining the electrical switchyard near the base of the structure.

Wolf Creek Dam Rehabilitation Project Manager Don Getty said the new section of cutoff wall will be 180 feet long and constructed by drilling 50-inch overlapping holes, same as the 4,000-foot-long permanent concrete barrier wall was inserted in the dam during the past six years.

Getty told The Commonwealth-Journal (http://bit.ly/13eVc9i ) the cutoff wall near the switchyard won’t be as deep as the 275-foot-deep wall in the dam.

The project is an extension of the cutoff wall installed during the 1970s after serious leaks developed in the structure a decade earlier.

Many believe the condition of Wolf Creek Dam during the late 1960s was more serious than in 2005 when the dam was declared in high risk of failure. Intensive grouting slowed the seepage, and a cutoff wall, not long enough and not deep enough, was installed during the 1970s.

A just-completed, $594 million rehabilitation of the dam is believed to be a permanent fix for the uncontrolled seepage problem.

Engineers believe there is a connection between fluctuation of tailwaters and undermining the switchyard area, Getty said.

“This extended cutoff wall near the switchyard has absolutely nothing to do with the lake,” Getty said.

The second barrier wall in the earthen section of the dam was completed in March and the lake was allowed to rise 20 feet above the target operational level during the six-year rehabilitation of the dam. The lake, pending another safety review, is scheduled to return to historical operation next year.

Getty said current work on the cutoff wall is near the powerhouse and is not affecting fishing immediately below the dam.

“That still doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous to get up close to the dam,” Getty said.

1
Text Only
State News
  • Healthcare signup in state extended

    While the national health exchange established by the Affordable Care Act — known to some as Obamacare — suffered glitches, crashes and delays, the Kentucky-run exchange, Kynect, was often used as a national model.

    April 4, 2014

  • Kentucky budget passed with little debate

    The Kentucky General Assembly, divided between chambers along party lines, overwhelmingly passed a $20-billion, new two-year budget not only on time but with almost no debate.

    April 1, 2014

  • Lawmakers agree on snow bill

    Kentucky school officials, parents and students finally have what they’ve been asking for: A bill to allow them to get out of school before the summer fully sets in, even if they don’t make up some of the days they missed during the severe winter.

    March 31, 2014

  • Tensions rise during budget negotiations

    Tensions increased Friday between the Republican Senate and Democratic House over continuing negotiations on a new, two-year budget. It even got personal at times.

    March 31, 2014

  • Kentucky Power plan a potential landscape-changer

    Electrical ratepayers, local governments and those employed in the coal industry might have a hard time understanding the complicated transaction through which Kentucky Power Company is purchasing half the generating capacity of a coal-fired West Virginia plant.

    March 28, 2014 2 Stories

  • Senate passes budget with no locked-in gas tax hikes

    The state Senate on Tuesday passed its version of a two-year revenue measure, and unlike the House version, it does not lock in gas tax increases.

    March 26, 2014

  • House passes bill aimed at saving Big Sandy Plant

    Backers of a bill to require the Kentucky Public Service Commission to “reconsider” its previous order approving Kentucky Power’s purchase of a West Virginia generator say all they are asking “is for them to take a second look and look at all the facts.”

    March 26, 2014 1 Story

  • Judge: Companies can’t use eminent domain for pipeline project

    Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd on Tuesday ruled that companies building a natural gas liquids pipeline across parts of Kentucky cannot invoke eminent domain to force private property owners to provide easements.

    March 26, 2014

  • Still no snow day solution from lawmakers

    Senate and House negotiators, working on a bill to give school districts flexibility in making up snow days, each accused the other of moving the goal posts – but it’s the local school districts who may be penalized.

    March 25, 2014

  • Senate sets budget with ‘wiggle room’

    It was no surprise the Republican-controlled Kentucky state Senate altered the $20 billion, two-year state budget approved by the Democratic-controlled House, but there may have been a few who were surprised by how little it was changed.

    March 25, 2014