Bear Creek Dam Remediation Project


Hodges, Alabama
Client: RIZZO Associates (Formerly known as Paul C. Rizzo Associates, Inc.)
Owner: Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructed the Bear Creek Dam in 1969 to provide flood control, recreation, water supply, and economic development benefits. The structure consists of an earth dam, a concrete overflow spillway, an intake tower, a lined tunnel, and an outlet structure.

The dam is approximately 1,200 feet long at the crest and is 68 feet high at the maximum section. Seepage through the karst foundation was observed at the downstream toe of the dam after first filling the reservoir in 1969, and has been a continuing issue throughout the life of the Project.

TVA determined that the earth dam would be overtopped in the event of a flood. As a result, a backup Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) Dam was built to address both the ongoing seepage issues and the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) capacity. The remediation consisted of a RCC Reinforcing Structure (RCC Berm) located near the toe of the existing embankment dam, including a composite grout curtain-cutoff wall seepage barrier through the karst rock foundation.

Fall Line was retained to perform the RCC mix design program for various cement, fly ash and aggregate blends for the 90,000 cubic yard RCC project. During construction of the new RCC Dam, Fall Line mobilized to the site and built an on-site laboratory that was utilized for aggregates testing, and curing and testing of RCC and convention concrete. Fall Line also had onsite facilities to perform accelerated curing of RCC Test cylinders and nuclear density gauges for compaction control.