Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2014, Atlanta, GA, USA, (DFI)

Design and Construction of High-Capacity Rock Anchors for the Willow Island Hydroelectric Project
W. Allen Marr, Ph.D., P.E., NAE and Scott R. Bamford, P.E., Geocomp Corporation James M. Tantalla, Ph.D., P.E. and Roderic A. Ellman, Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers

Construction of the powerhouse for the Willow Island Hydroelectric Project required a 100-ft deep excavation inside the limits of a cofferdam and embankment-seepage cut-off wall through soil and rock adjacent to the Ohio River. Portions of the rock had preexisting weak plans and slickensided surfaces with low frictional strength. Stability analyses were performed for critical sections of the excavation to evaluate the stability of the soil slopes and rock cuts using buckling, tension crack, and limit equilibrium analysis techniques. Loading conditions included the 100-yr and intermediate floods, normal pool, sudden drawdown, and seismic design conditions. Stability analyses indicated adequate factors of safety for soil slopes and for rock cuts through the landside embankment sections. However, the results of deep-seated stability analyses through the rock supporting the riverside cellular cofferdam indicated unacceptable factors of safety. Consequently, the riverside portion of the excavation required measures to increase stability. Long, high-capacity rock anchors and deep dewatering wells to lower the site piezometric head were chosen for this purpose. Thirty high-capacity rock anchors were installed on the upstream, riverside, and downstream sides of the cofferdam rock cut. Required rock anchor loads varied from 1,968 to 2,074 kips. The designed anchors consisted of multiple, seven–wire strands with up to 59 strands per anchor. Bond lengths used an allowable bond stress of 100 psi based on the rock bond measured with pull-out tests. Maximum bond and anchor lengths were 50 ft and 140 ft, respectively. Measurements of forces in selected strands and displacements of the excavation showed excellent performance.

 article #1998; publication #1011 (AM-2014)