Gilboa Dam Rehabilitation Named ACEC NY Diamond Award Winner

The $138 million Gilboa Dam reconstruction – completed well ahead of schedule - was also named National Dam Rehabilitation Project of the Year by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

Physical modeling predicted hydraulic conditions for a range of flood events (from a two-year storm event up to the probable maximum flood, which is nearly four times the average flow over Niagara Falls) and to fine-tune the final spillway crest and step configuration.

The impact of Hurricane Irene resulted in a 500-year flood event in the Schoharie Valley and established a new record spill of eight feet above the spillway crest. This storm caused new damage and significantly slowed the contractor’s initial progress; however, despite the flood event amidst construction, the project team was able to complete Gilboa’s rehabilitation nearly two years ahead of schedule.

Half of the 80 post-tensioned anchors installed in the initial construction phase consisted of 58 strands with more than 1,000 tons of service loads per anchor – approaching the limits of technology. These are the highest-capacity anchors installed in New York State.

During the active construction period, a new nest was established very close to the active construction zone that required careful monitoring and imposed limitations on construction activity near a nesting pair of bald eagles during breeding season. These site controls helped three sets of eaglets hatch from the nest and successfully fledge without impacting the construction schedule.

(NEW YORK, NY – November 5, 2015) – The Gilboa Dam rehabilitation has been named an ACEC-NY Engineering Excellence Diamond Award winner.

The completed dam rehabilitation restored all features to their original functionality, upgraded the dam to current industry criteria, and provided an enhanced dam safety monitoring and reporting system.

Cutting edge anchor technology included 80 post-tension rock anchors for spillway stability. These anchors consisted of 58 strands with more than 1,000 tons of service load per anchor – approaching the limits of technology, and are the highest-capacity rock anchors used to date in New York, equaled only by a few others worldwide. As part of the recent rehabilitation, an 52 additional anchors were installed to stabilize the west training wall, the east training wall, and the concrete end sill.

This achievement benefits New York City and the Schoharie Valley by protecting its 8,000 downstream residents and thousands of properties by strengthening the dam and improving its flood control capabilities. In addition, it will effectively provide safe drinking water to the millions of people that rely on the Gilboa Dam and Schoharie Reservoir for many decades to come.

The winners will be honored at the 49th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) Gala, which will take place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on March 19, 2016. The winner of the Empire Award — an award given to the highest rated project in New York State — will be announced at the EEA Gala. All Diamond Award projects designed and built in New York State are in contention for the Empire Award.

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