Concrete Monolith Installed for Kentucky Dam Project

Doug Enright 

The Kentucky Dam is currently undergoing renovations and retrofits with concrete technology seeking to make the dam stronger and more technologically relevant than ever before. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, are working on the project and are getting ready to install a concrete monolith to the Kentucky Lock Addition project. This concrete monolith will help with the completion of the overall project, installing a 1200 foot log lock at the dam.

The project is a collaborative construction undertaking by the US Army Corp of Engineers, the Tenneessee Valley Authority and Thalle Construction Company. Thalle Construction is the contractor for the Kentucky Dam project. The three agencies have been working hard together to make sure the project comes in on time, budget and utilizes concrete in the best way possible for the job.

61 concrete monoliths will be built for two walls of the new Kentucky Dam lock. Thalle will build the first nine monoliths, which are expected to be complete by spring of 2016. In addition to building the concrete monoliths, Thalle will also be pouring around 130,000 cubic yards of concrete for the project and be in charge of another 850,000 cubic yards in the future to complete the overall project.

The project is looking to change the way the locks currently work for the Kentucky Dam to increase overall efficiency and eliminate a variety of delays the dam currently causes. The current lock causes several bottleneck situations, which causes issues for tow boats and other aquatic crafts on the water. The new lock should help reduce these delays and make the waterway more efficient for those using it for cargo.

The project has been in development hell since 1998, as various delays and issues have transpired to make it lose sight of its completion goal time and time again. The $862 million project is set to be complete in 2023.

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