Public meeting set for Center Hill Dam Modification Study

Apr 24, 2018 at 06:33 am by bryan

A meeting will be held to discuss a popular swimming and fishing destination for many Rutherford County residents. That destination... Center Hill Lake and the modification of the Center Hill Dam.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is hosting a public scoping meeting 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 3, 2018 at the Buffalo Valley Community Center to present information to the public regarding a current Dam Safety Modification Study (DSMS) to further reduce risk at Center Hill Dam. The center is located at 2717 Buffalo Valley School Road, Buffalo Valley, Tenn.

Since 2008 the Nashville District has worked to reduce risk at Center Hill Dam from a foundation seepage issue.

"More recently, however, operability issues have been identified with the 70-year old main dam spillway gates that add project risk during a large flood event" said Corps Project Manager, Linda Adcock.

In the early 1990's a self-eroding structure called a 'fuse plug' was built into the top of the saddle dam to add the ability to safely pass a rare, extreme flood downstream.

"If the main dam spillway gates don't operate as intended, the fuse plug on the saddle dam could operate at a smaller flood than intended," Adcock added.

Currently, risk of this occurrence is higher than the Corps deems acceptable. A study is underway to evaluate spillway gate repair alternatives and potential changes to standard gate operations during a large flood. Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the Corps of Engineers is initiating scoping and preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to support the DSMS. The study will produce a recommended plan to reduce potential project risk. The Corps seeks public input on the array of alternatives being considered.

Examples of measures, either individually or in combination, that have potential to affect structures or operations of the dam may include:

a) Replacement of the current gate machinery with hydraulic machinery that can operate under water;

b) Addition of equipment to the current spillway gates to keep them open if the operating machinery is underwater;

c) Modification of the spillway gates or gate machinery to allow operation from the top of the dam;

d) Relocation of the gate operating machinery to the road level, which would require raising or relocating Highway 96 that crosses over the dam;

e) Modification of the emergency operations plan in the water control manual that determines how to manage floods at Center Hill Dam; and

f) Other measures as identified by on-going engineering studies, the public, and agencies.

The announcement seeking public input is located on the Federal Register at This announcement includes information on how to provide comments to the Corps of Engineers regarding this study.

To read more on the dam safety project, visit the Nashville District webpage at . For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, visit the district's website at, on Facebook at and , and on Twitter at

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