Wolf Creek Dam in south central Kentucky forms Lake Cumberland, the US’s 9th largest reservoir. In 2010, the US Army Corps of Engineers was building a cut off wall through the earthen embankment and underlying soils and bedrock. Work was suspended in a critical zone due to concerns that construction operations had damaged the embankment and affected slope stability. Stantec mobilized quickly to execute a subsurface exploration and instrument installation program to support the Corps’ evaluations, and reduce schedule and cost impacts.
Our work included subsurface exploration and field testing, installing instrumentation, and laboratory testing. We began with drilling, sampling and testing on the work platform and the upstream slope. We then installed inclinometers and piezometers at strategic locations to better capture data related to the embankment condition. Conditions were dynamic; the scope of work was often adjusted and refined based on results and our meetings with the client and dam safety experts.
Five months later our work was done, and we were commended for our responsiveness and “can do” attitude.