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Canton Dam Safety Assurance

Bringing this dam up to modern safety standards

Blaine, Oklahoma

Stantec has extensive experience with high capacity rock anchors and seismic assessment of dams. We have worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) many times and were pleased to tackle their Canton Dam project that began in 2003. This dam controls the flow of the North Canadian River, protecting communities downstream, and forming Canton Lake. Built in the 1940s, the dam no longer met modern safety standards. Deficient spillway capacity. Unstable earth embankment. Seepage.

The spillway study was our first priority. On-site investigations and advanced numerical and 3D modeling helped us to see what was happening. Solutions, plans and costs estimates were proposed and accepted; then we got to work. The biggest challenge was installing 62 post-tensioned rock anchors to tie the concrete dam to the bedrock. Drilling the bore holes was difficult as the top layers of bedrock were soft. We had to work fast to prevent erosion.

After four years, the job was done. Canton Dam is strong and stable, resuming its role as guardian of the valley. 

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