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Informal public informational meeting on Boone Dam repair progress scheduled

Becky Campbell • Sep 4, 2018 at 10:50 PM

The public will have the opportunity to ask questions about the progress of the Boone Dam repair project later this month when the Tennessee Valley Authority hosts an informal drop-in “public information fair.”

The event is scheduled Sept. 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Sullivan Central High School. TVA officials will be there for the two hours, so people can come and go as they have time.

TVA recently awarded the bid for the long-awaited Boone Dam cutoff wall, which is a major part of the project to stop the dam from leaking, to Treviicos-Nicholson Joint Venture.

It’s the last piece of the puzzle needed before Boone Lake can be refilled.

Treviicos-Nicholson is a joint venture between Treviicos South Inc. and Nicholson Construction Company, according to the latest information released by the Tennessee Valley Authority this week. Treviicos South Inc. and Nicholson Construction Company are based in Boston, Massachusetts, and Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, respectively, and have teamed on a number of major dam projects around the country.

“This project is about protecting the families, businesses, and communities downstream of the dam, and we look forward to working with Treviicos-Nicholson throughout the repair project,” said TVA Principal Project Manager Sam Vinson.

Vinson said with the contractor now selected, the team will work to restore the lake to its normal operating guide by July 2022.

TVA apparently discovered the problem of seepage — a sinkhole near the base of the earthen embankment of the dam — in October 2014 and drew down the lake level an additional 10 feet below the usual winter level. The process happened so quickly that some residents around the lake were unable to get their boats out of the water and many have remained landlocked.

TVA presented its findings and plans for the repair in July 2015.

Progress

Since announcing the problems at the dam, TVA has made progress in the repair project, including:

• widening the dam,

• drilling hundreds of holes that were filled with grout,

• installing more than 200 monitoring instruments and

• installing 220,000 tons of rock placed on both sides of the dam to add stability to the earthen embankment.

Work has also already started to build an earthen pad for Treviicos-Nicholson’s new mobile offices, a new laydown yard and a new employee parking lot, all in preparation for the cutoff wall construction.

The meeting scheduled later this month is one of several TVA has held with the public. 

“Our subject matter experts will be available throughout the two-hour period, so it’s convenient for folks getting off work at different times,” Vinson said. “This enables us to answer questions about the project in an informal setting.”

At that meeting, TVA employees and project partners will be available to answer questions about the dam’s cutoff wall construction, supplemental vegetation management plan, refill plan, safety program and more.

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