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LANCASTER, Tenn. — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District and Bauer Foundation Corporation management and personnel pose for photos on a specialty drill rig July 11, 2012 during a "First Bite" ceremony to begin constructing a subsurface concrete wall as a barrier for potentially harmful seepage water moving beneath the earthen dam.

LANCASTER, Tenn. — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District and Bauer Foundation Corporation management and personnel pose for photos on a specialty drill rig July 11, 2012 during a "First Bite" ceremony to begin constructing a subsurface concrete wall as a barrier for potentially harmful seepage water moving beneath the earthen dam. (Photo by Fred Tucker)

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LANCASTER, Tenn. — Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander (right), and Professor Thomas Bauer, chief executive officer for the Bauer Group, pose in front of a drill rig July 11, 2012 that made the first excavation in the earthen portion of Center Hill Dam to install a concrete barrier wall. The $106 million project is scheduled for completion in late 2015.

LANCASTER, Tenn. — Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander (right), and Professor Thomas Bauer, chief executive officer for the Bauer Group, pose in front of a drill rig July 11, 2012 that made the first excavation in the earthen portion of Center Hill Dam to install a concrete barrier wall. The $106 million project is scheduled for completion in late 2015. (Photo by Fred Tucker)

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Posted 7/13/2012

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By Fred Tucker
Nashville District


LANCASTER, Tenn. — The "first bite" of a $106 million drilling project to stabilize the earthen portion of the Center Hill Dam with a barrier wall was taken July 11, 2012 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District and its contractor, Bauer Foundation Corporation, as the auger of a giant drill rig turned up the first dirt to the cheers of spectators.

The milestone event was made possible by the hard work of many people involved over the years in investigations, design and construction, according to Project Manager Linda Adcock.

"Building a barrier wall in the earthen embankment is the main protective feature in the Center Hill Dam Seepage Rehabilitation project," Adcock said. "Bauer will drill down 300 feet from the top of the dam into 130 feet of rock and construct concrete columns to form this barrier over the next two years," she added.

Quality control is paramount because the excavated columns must overlap to form a continuous barrier, according to Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, Nashville District commander.

"Bauer Foundation Corporation was selected for this contract because of their experience, technical capabilities, quality control and environmental measures," DeLapp said. "We are dedicated to a partnership with Bauer to successfully complete this wall," he added.

One lane of Highway 96 will be closed for the next two years and an automated traffic control system will safely manage vehicles across the dam.

"The equipment that the public will see on the dam is to support, guide and operate the cutting tools working deep beneath the surface," said Bjoern Hoffman, project manager for Bauer Foundation Corporation.

Total cost of the project is estimated at $295 million, with about $140 million spent to date on investigations, design and construction. The Corps manages Center Hill Lake levels targeting a summer high of 630 feet above mean sea level and a winter pool of about 620 feet; however, day-to-day lake levels are highly dependent on weather. These target elevations are 10-15 feet lower than normal and are part of risk management until repairs are complete in 2015.

Army Corps army Engineers barrier wall Bauer Group Center Hill Center Hill Dam construction dam drill rig Lancaster Nashville District project Tennessee US Army Corps of Engineers USACE