The threat of rain did not stop approximately 300 visitors from coming out to the East Branch Dam seepage cutoff wall construction site tour, June 1.
Participates ranged from project partners to the enthusiasts and sentimental.
The event is a great way to open up the gates and gives us the opportunity to explain our progress, said the Area Engineer, Denise Polizzano, East Branch Dam Office.
“This is a great opportunity for the public to come out and see all the work we are doing on the cutoff wall.”
The site tour demonstrated both the progress made and a chance to discuss what the future held once construction is complete in late 2020.
Attendees had the chance to visit the work platform, putting them in proximity with some of the tools necessary in the repair process.
Aside from walking the project itself, the tour also provided newcomers with a chance to learn more about the projects history, and ask questions.
Even some district faces from days gone by showed up to see the project as it nears completion.
Mr. Mike Rattay, East Branch Project Manager 2008-2018, said “It’s amazing to see all the hard work by so many come together, I’m proud to have been on the team.”
Since issues with the dam were found in 2008, the Pittsburgh District has implemented various interim risk reduction measures, one of which was to lower the summer and winter pool levels in order to reduce hydraulic loads on and within the dam embankment. However, constructing a seepage cutoff wall within the existing earthen embankment dam is the permanent solution.
The $132.5-million cutoff wall consists of a minimum 18-inch-wide continuous vertical concrete cutoff wall approximately 2,300 feet long with an approximate maximum depth of 250 feet through the existing embankment into bedrock.
To date, there are seven panels left to complete.
“Pittsburgh District is filled to the brim with the best and the brightest,” District Commander, Col. Coby Short said. “It’s those talented people who are the largest component to getting this project completed.”
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