Repairs at Glen Canyon Dam


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Title: Repairs at Glen Canyon Dam

Author(s): Philip H. Burgi and Melissa S. Eckley

Publication: Concrete International

Volume: 9

Issue: 3

Appears on pages(s): 24-31

Keywords: concrete dams; erosion; repairs; spillways; tunnel linings; Construction

Date: 3/1/1987

Colorado River runoff at the Glen Canyon Dam in northeast Arizona was 180 percent of normal in the summer of 1983. This extreme condition made it necessary to use both of the 41 ft diameter tunnel spillways at the 710 ft high dam. Operating these spillways for two months produced such extensive damage to the concrete liner and foundation rock that 2810 yd3 (2150 m3) of concrete and rock were scoured from the tunnels. A number of construction techniques were required to backfill the eroded cavities in the foundation rock, repair the tunnel liners, and construct the large aeration slot needed to each tunnel to prevent cavitation-initiated damage in the future.