Publication Abstract

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

Construction of a Very Flexibility, Impermeable, Bituminous Membrane Seepage Barrier, to Connect an Existing Concrete Dam Structure to a Newly Constructed Abutment Cut-Off Wall
Brian Wilson, P.Eng., Pacific Ground Engineering Nathan Sweeney, P.Eng., BC Hydro, Megan Atkinson, P.Eng., Golder Associates Ltd., Richard Diggle, Foundex Explorations Inc.

Ruskin Dam, located near Mission, British Columbia, was constructed in 1929 and 1930 and comprises of a concrete gravity dam structure founded on bedrock. At the right abutment, which consists mostly of dense to very dense sands and silt, the dam abuts against overburden soils, and connects to a cutoff wall system consisting of sloping concrete slabs. Significant seepage and piping issues were encountered during first filling of the reservoir in 1930. In 2012, BC Hydro, the owner of the dam, awarded a contract for the construction of seepage control measures at the right abutment, including construction of a plastic concrete cut-off wall extending upstream of the dam, a plastic concrete seepage training wall extending downstream of the dam, tie-in of the new cutoff wall to the dam, consisting of jet grouting of the soils adjacent to the dam to allow for the construction of the special cutoff connecting the cutoff wall to the dam, and construction of additional jet-grouting ground improvement downstream of the dam. Integral to the upgrade was the requirement for the special tie-in cutoff wall, consisting of a highly flexible, impermeable membrane to connect the concrete dam to the new, 1 m thick plastic concrete cutoff wall. The tie-in extends vertically into bedrock through the dam and jet grout columns constructed adjacent and beneath the overhanging portion of the dam at the right abutment. The membrane is required to survive the anticipated earthquake induced deformation between the dam and the abutment soils. This paper describes the processes used to develop a material suitable to meet the specified flexibility and permeability criteria, as well as the innovative construction techniques utilized to construct the slot and place the bituminous material within it. The final dimensions of the slot were in the order of 7 m long by 25 m deep by 0.17 m wide. The bituminous material was placed under a head of water which was required to maintain stability of the slot, and was placed at temperatures in excess of 120 degrees Celsius.

 article #2006; publication #1011 (AM-2014)