TUTTLE CREEK DAM, Kan. — Two service gate liners will be replaced at Tuttle Creek Dam, near Manhattan, Kansas, later this year after damage was discovered during a routine dam inspection in Oct. 2020.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District received funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL, and has awarded a $2.03 million contract for the Tuttle Creek Dam service gate repairs to Alltech.
“In October of 2020 … they found that the portion of the steel liner in the bottom of the conduit just downstream of the gates had been ripped loose,” said Katrina Marx, project manager for the Tuttle Creek Dam service gate one and two liner repairs.
The repairs will fix a steel liner downstream of service gate one and will replace the steel liner downstream of service gate two. The steel liners downstream of the service gates help protect the concrete conduit from damage during periods of high flows. Repairs on both service gates are scheduled to begin Aug. 1, 2023.
While no damage was discovered downstream of service gate two, its steel liner will be replaced as a preventative measure. Marx explained that due to the complex nature of the damage, the repairs require significant technical expertise.
“You’re under the dam, you’re hundreds of feet up in the conduit, downstream of gates that are leaking water … you’re welding in a confined space … it really is a very complex situation,” said Marx. “The contractor needs to have good technical experience.”
The repair work downstream of service gate one and service gate two at Tuttle Creek Dam will not start until later this year due to a high potential for the need to release water from the service gates between April and July. While the repairs to fix the damage downstream of service gate one, and to prevent potential damage downstream of gate two, are complex and will require technical experience, the damages were found early and there is no risk for dam failure because of the damage.
“It probably would have taken a pretty long time for this to really have been a big impact, as far as dam safety,” said Marx. “The fact that we found it in 2020 … was probably helpful in minimizing the damage that we do have to repair so the timing was [good].”
USACE inspects all dams every five years, to ensure they are operating and being maintained as required.
More information about the Kansas City District’s dam safety program can be found at: https://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Dam-Safety-Program/