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Douglas Saddle Dams and Dandridge Dike

Improving dam safety by addressing stability, seepage, and overtopping for maximum flood pools

  • 100

    Foot-tall Embankments

  • 1000

    Foot-long Embankments

  • Sevier County, Tennessee

    Sevier County, Tennessee

Assessing 10 saddle dams and a dike embankment to mitigate dam safety risks during probable maximum flood events

To safeguard downstream communities during maximum flood pool conditions, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) called on our team as a trusted partner to assess 10 saddle dams and a dike embankment at the Douglas Dam project.

Our initial work included a field exploration, laboratory testing program, and an updated stability evaluation of all 10 saddle dams as well as the Dandridge Dike embankment. Based on the stability analyses, we were tasked with an operability assessment of Saddle Dam Number 1. When the dam did not meet current design criteria, we were entrusted with the design of relief wells and a rockfill berm to improve safety factors against soil heave at the dam toe. At Saddle Dams Number 3 and 9, we designed similar modifications to improve safety and stability. To prevent overtopping at the maximum pool, our team designed modifications to raise the crest of Saddle Dams Number 2, 3, and 10.

Altogether, we performed global stability evaluations, operability assessments, and design modifications while meeting aggressive schedules—expedited and completed prior to the spring flooding season. Assisting TVA during construction also helped verify the modifications were built in accordance with the design.

At a Glance

  • Tennessee Valley Authority
Meet Our Team

April Welshans, Principal

I enjoy geotech because it gives you the ability to think for yourself—there isn’t a cookbook, so you really have to make it your own.

April Welshans


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