U.S. awards seepage barrier contract for 135-MW Center Hill Dam

NASHVILLE, Tenn., U.S. 9/29/11 (PennWell) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $106.6 million contract to Bauer Foundation Corp. to build a concrete seepage barrier in the main embankment of 135-MW Center Hill Dam on the Caney Fork River near Lancaster, Tenn.

The Corps took bids for the work in 2010. The 250-foot-tall dam consists of a 1,382-foot-long concrete section and 778-foot-long earth embankment with a history of seepage problems that have worsened in recent years. The Corps' Nashville District awarded an $87.4 million contract in 2008 to Kiewit–A.C.T. to install a grout curtain seepage barrier at the project.

Bauer, of Odessa, Fla., is to construct a 900-foot-long concrete seepage barrier with a minimum 2-foot thickness, extending from elevation 696 mean sea level to 405 msl. The barrier is to be installed through existing earthen embankment and underlying limestone foundation.

Center Hill Dam is among six dams the Corps identified as having a high risk of failure, in a screening program of 130 dams. In 2006, the Corps approved a $240 million rehabilitation plan to improve the dam's long-term reliability by 2014.

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