Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2017, New Orleans, LA, USA, (DFI)

Challenges in Managing an Aging Infrastructure, Lessons Learned from a near Miss at the Lake Manatee Dam
Glen R. Andersen

Two of the greatest challenges we face in managing our aging infrastructure are to perform accurate condition assessments and to realistically predict the risk of non-action. The aim of this paper is to discuss common pitfalls we face in performing accurate condition assessments of our aging infrastructure using the case history of a recent near miss at the Lake Manatee Dam in Central Florida. The dam was placed into service in 1967 and was inspected every couple of years by dam safety engineers beginning in 1978. Although there was substantial and repeated evidence of a serious piping and internal erosion problem in each of these inspections, the problem was overlooked by most of the inspection teams. In 2012, the inspection team concluded that: “the Lake Manatee Reservoir Dam is well maintained and is in very good overall condition.” However, in 2013 a new team inspected the dam from an entirely different perspective, identified potentially serious conditions, performed an integration of the historical inspection data and concluded that: 1) the Lake Manatee Dam was in a severely distressed state; and, 2) without an immediate intervention there was a high risk of an uncontrolled release of the reservoir most likely following a large rainfall event and prolonged opening of the service spillway. This case history highlights human factors contributing to the near miss including group think and focusing on changes from prior inspections. The integration of historical inspection data is recommended for managing our aging infrastructure.

 article #2768; publication #1037 (AM-2017)