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USACE Chief of Engineers visits Nashville District | by USACE HQ
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USACE Chief of Engineers visits Nashville District

JAMESTOWN, Kentucky — Lt. Gen. Robert L. “Van” Van Antwerp, U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps Engineers (USACE) stands in the entrance of the Wolf Creek Dam Powerhouse. Wolf Creek Dam is a multi-purpose dam on the Cumberland River in the western part of Russell County, Kentucky, United States. The dam serves at once four distinct purposes: it generates hydroelectricity; it regulates and limits flooding; it releases stored water to permit year-round navigation on the lower Cumberland River; and it creates Lake Cumberland for recreation, which has become a popular tourist attraction for hundreds of thousands of recreationers. Because of seepage problems in the dam's foundation, it has become the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers's top dam priority. U.S. Route 127 is built on top of the dam. Construction of the Wolf Creek Dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River Harbor Act of 1946 as part of a comprehensive plan to develop the Cumberland River Basin. Construction began in 1941 but because of World War II and other factors, construction was not completed until 1951. The last of the power generators was installed in 1952. While several small towns downstream from the dam were adversely affected by its construction, such as nearby Creelsboro and Burnside, the dam is credited with preventing several hundred million dollars in flood damage. Wolf Creek Dam is a 5,736 ft (1,748 m) long and 258 ft (79 m) high dam with a combined earthen and concrete structure. The concrete section of the Wolf Creek Dam consists of 37 gravity monoliths that comprise 547m of the dam's length, across the old river channel. The spillway section contains ten 15m x 11m tainter gates and six 1.2m x 1.8m low level sluice gates. The power intake section contains the penstocks that feed the six 45 MW turbines. The embankment section extends from the end of the concrete gravity portion 1200m across the valley to the right abutment. It has a maximum height of 65m above the top of rock. The non-zoned embankment is composed of well-compacted, low plasticity clays, from the valley alluvium. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Mark Rankin)


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Taken on August 30, 2010