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Bluestone Dam DSA Phase 5 – Stilling Basin Borings

Drilling at one of the best white water rafting spots in the world

Hinton, West Virginia

Located on the New River in Hinton, the Bluestone Dam area is one of the best white water rafting spots in the country. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) tasked Stantec with conducting geotechnical drilling at the dam while minimizing impacts to flow levels.

The USACE was concerned about scour potential if the dam’s emergency spillway gates were used, so they needed a team capable of drilling in this challenging and risky environment. Our skid mounted drill rig on a three legged jackup barge gave us a secure platform for drilling. Because it was secured to the face of the dam at anchor points, the platform was not affected by abrupt water level changes and the anchors were also a failsafe for the barge’s legs.

Borings were drilled to about 150 feet through 25 to 30 feet of water. Eight PQ-3 rock core borings were completed with downhole camera work via a borehole image processing system, which helped analyze rock structure and fracture orientation, and explore voids encountered during drilling.

The result? We were able to get the samples USACE needed safely, on schedule and without disrupting the communities that rely on the Bluestone Dam for water every day.

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