USACE announces award of Bolivar Dam $44.3 million safety assurance contract

February 27, 2014

Huntington, W.Va. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Huntington District, announces the award for additional Dam Safety Assurance work for Bolivar Dam in Bolivar, Ohio. The $44.3 million contract was awarded to Treviicos South, Inc. of Charlestown, Mass.

The project is cost-shared between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD), which will contribute 23 percent of the cost.

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.

The purpose of this contract is to address problematic seepage at Bolivar Dam. During historical flood events, excessive seepage has been observed through the dam foundation. Action is needed because the uncontrolled seepage could negatively affect the structural stability of the dam, resulting in increased risks to the downstream public. Failure of Bolivar Dam could lead to the failure of Dover Dam downstream. This would cause risk to over 50,000 people and cause more than $690 million in damage.

This work will involve the construction of a partial-depth seepage barrier through the upstream slope of the dam embankment and drilling and grouting along the left abutment of the dam. These measures have been designed to limit seepage under and around the dam. The work is expected to take four and a half years to complete.

“Public safety is our number one priority,” said Col. Leon Parrott, District Commander. “The primary objective of our Dam Safety Assurance effort is to maintain public safety by making sure the dams we own and operate are safe and risks to the public are minimized.”

Bolivar Dam’s construction was completed in September 1938 as one of a system of dams designed to provide flood control and water conservation in the Muskingum Watershed. Bolivar Dam is operated in cooperation with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District to provide flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. The dam is an earth-fill dam with an impervious core founded on glacial outwash material. Appurtenant structures to Bolivar Dam are Magnolia Levee, which provides protection to the residents of the Town of Magnolia, and two industrial levees. The drainage area upstream of the dam is 504 square miles.

"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."

An earlier contract for $3.75 million was awarded in September 2011 which consisted of tree and brush clearing, installation of a downstream seepage blanket, construction of a terrace filter blanket extension and construction of a 450 foot storm sewer and was completed in November 2013.

Also, a contract for $4.7 million was awarded in September 2012 for fabrication and installation of replacement gates and rehabilitation of internal dam operating equipment. This work is still ongoing.


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