Dam safety group recognizes Loch Raven rehabilitation

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials has honored Gannett Fleming for its work on the rehabilitation of Loch Raven Dam in Maryland, owned by Baltimore’s Department of Public Works.

ASDSO presented Gannett Fleming an award for the 2006 National Rehabilitation Project of the Year during its annual conference in September in Boston. The organization called the project �a great cooperative effort� by the city of Baltimore, Gannett Fleming, and construction contractor ASI/Cianbro Joint Venture.

Loch Raven Dam, a 131-foot-tall, 700-foot-long concrete gravity structure, impounds about 23 billion gallons of water in Loch Raven Reservoir, an important part of the water supply system for the greater Baltimore region.

Gannett Fleming became involved in the project following discovery of major deficiencies when the dam was evaluated for its ability to pass the probable maximum flood. Questions were raised as to the stability and safety of the dam and the dam’s insufficient spillway capacity.

The Maryland Dam Safety Program directed Baltimore to rehabilitate or remove the dam. The city chose rehabilitation, and selected Gannett Fleming to design a solution that would increase stability and confine PMF overflow to the 288-foot-wide spillway. Gannett Fleming increased dam mass, installed rock anchors, and increased non-overflow sections of the dam.

Throughout the three-year project, ASDSO noted, the contractor faced formidable challenges, including unusually frequent and heavy rainfalls that caused overtopping of the spillway, complicating the diversion scheme. In spite of multiple challenges, the project was completed five months ahead of schedule and $500,000 under budget, ASDSO said.

The project, at one time scheduled for completion in February 2006, was completed in October 2005. The final project construction cost totaled $28.4 million.

ASDSO names other award recipients

ASDSO also named merit award winners for outstanding contributions to dam safety on the national and regional levels:

o Michael Grounds of Beacon Resources, national award of merit, for his advancement of dam safety;
o New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch for leadership during floods that exceeded the 100-year maximum, and for a long-term commitment to improving dam safety in the state (Northeast);
o Former ASDSO President James Simons of the North Carolina Division of Land Resources for leadership in the National Dam Safety Program (Southeast);
o Eric Hand and Ken Leiser, science and environmental writers for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, for raising public awareness of potential threats posed by dams, and the state’s role in ensuring public safety (Midwest); and
o The Bureau of Reclamation and Provo Area Manager Bruce Barrett for the rebuild and enlargement of Big Sand Wash Dam in Utah (West).

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