Huntington, W.Va. – The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District (USACE) announces the beginning of construction of the first portion of the seepage barrier at Bolivar Dam. The barrier is an underground concrete wall that will substantially reduce seepage beneath the dam, which has been observed during historical flood events such as in 2005 and 2008.
Beginning in early January, TreviIcos South, the prime contractor, will construct the first 300 feet of the nearly 4,500-foot-long barrier. Traffic into and out of the construction site is expected to increase due to the amount of materials and equipment required, but all heavy equipment and concrete trucks will be restricted to the contractor’s work limits within the Bolivar Dam project area.
The concrete barrier wall will be three feet thick and as deep as 144 feet. Once the USACE approves of the first 300 foot section, TreviIcos South will proceed with constructing the remainder of the barrier. The contractor anticipates working two shifts beginning this spring. Adding a second shift will create additional noise and traffic in the immediate vicinity of the dam and require artificial lighting at the work site during the evening and night-time hours.
Major items of work performed in 2014 by TreviIcos South included building a portion of the haul road and work platform on the upstream side of the dam and constructing on-site slurry and concrete batch plants that will support construction of the seepage barrier.
Bolivar Dam Road will remain closed to public vehicles and pedestrians throughout the duration of this effort to ensure the continued safety of the public. The road will open on a limited basis during flooding events when local residents cannot reach their homes otherwise. The park and playground near the project office will remain closed but the fishing area downstream of the outlet structure is open.
Bolivar Dam is located in Stark and Tuscarawas Counties, Ohio, on Sandy Creek, a tributary of the Tuscarawas River of the Muskingum watershed. The project is located about one mile upstream of the city of Bolivar and 13 miles upstream of the city of Dover, Ohio. Bolivar Dam is a “dry dam” that only impounds water during flood events.
"Flood reduction was a driving force behind the organization of the MWCD more than 80 years ago and continues to be a core portion of our mission today," said John M. Hoopingarner, MWCD executive director/secretary. "The MWCD is committed to its role as the local cost-share sponsor in its partnership with the Huntington District of the USACE for the critical work to protect this valuable infrastructure in the Muskingum River Watershed."
The work is expected to take up to four years to complete.