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Project Updates

Buckeye Lake Dam: Construction Progress and Plans Recap

Posted on 5/16/2016 by Engineering in Buckeye Lake Dam

Phase 1 activities include the construction of the Embankment Stability Berm (berm) and the seepage cutoff wall. The berm is 4.1 miles long, stabilizes the old dam structure and serves as a 30 foot wide construction platform for the deep soil mixing equipment used to build the seepage cutoff wall. The berm was constructed using approximately 382,000 cubic yards of material.

In addition to the berm construction, soil mixing crews have been working two twelve hour shifts per day, up to seven days a week building the Phase 1 seepage cutoff wall. The cutoff wall is built in the berm, about 15 feet from the old dam and is two feet wide going down to an approximate depth of 40 feet (see images attached). Three machines were used to construct the cutoff wall. Two of the machines were tall "auger" soil mixing machines. These machines used mixing paddles or "augers" driven into the ground to a depth of approximately 40 feet and mixed grout with the surrounding in-place soil material.

The third machine was a Dewind One-Pass Trencher and operated differently than the first two machines. The Dewind machine used a 50-foot cutting boom that looked like an oversized chain saw to cut the trench while also vertically mixing the injected grout.

The cutoff wall is substantially complete and an analysis is being conducted to determine if the wall is working as intended.

As previously stated, ODNR will close the spillway gates to allow a natural partial rise in the water level as soon as that can be done safely. ODNR's decision will be based on the engineering assessment of data being collected through the verification testing program that is currently underway.

On April 30, 2016 there was an accidental release of cement dust affecting approximately 12 homes around the Amil gate spillway. The project contractors and ODNR worked quickly and effectively to keep the public safe during the incident. Steps were taken to prevent environmental contamination and mitigate damage to property. The cement being used was a common product that is no different than the product anyone can buy at a hardware store. The cause of the incident is currently being attributed to a delivery driver failing to follow proper procedures while off-loading. The primary focus of this project has always been and will remain the safety of the public. The contractor responsible for the project site has had an insurance claims agent onsite and he is working closely with the affected residents.

Please be aware: for your safety, crossing the fence to the Embankment Stability Berm is prohibited except for emergency responders and authorized personnel. Do no cross the fence for any reason.


Visit the Buckeye Lake Dam Risk Reduction project page

Buckeye Lake State Park web page.