The Wolf Creek Dam on the Cumberland River in southern Kentucky is nearly 2 km long and supports hydroelectric generation, flood control, navigation and recreational activities. Following discovery of regressive erosion in the underlying karsts, a contract was awarded to the Treviicos-Soletanche joint venture to rehabilitate the foundations of the dam.
The project involves repairing the dam to re-establish the watertightness of the dam/rock contact, and in particular:
- Completion of the previous contract’s grouting at a depth of 100m, using sonic drilling and a water hammer.
- Construction of a concrete wall, between the two grouting lines, at a depth of 85m (50m through the earth dam body and 35m in rock of varying strength from 50 to 200Mpa).
The wall must be very vertical, with a deviation tolerance of less than 0.15% at 85m, and a minimum thickness of 600mm.
To solve the erosion issue, the joint venture built a barrier wall behind a 52,000 sq. metre, 1.8 metre thick, 85 metre deep diaphragm wall. The 91,000 sq. metre barrier wall, which combines secant piles and Hydrofraise® panels, runs through the embankment and extends downwards through 50 metres of clay and 35 metres of rock.
The project, which won a Deep Foundation Institute award, was handed over in 2014 following four and a half years of work.