Ohio Dam Rehabilitations


Michael Baker is currently providing engineering services for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Statewide Dam Safety program. The ODNR Dam Safety program seeks to bring dams into compliance with safety regulations to provide the citizens of Ohio with the essential benefits of dams; such as water supply, flood control, recreation and irrigation; while maintaining public safety and protecting economic infrastructure.

In total, the ODNR has engaged Michael Baker to work on ten dams across the state, including one at-risk dam where hundreds of homes had been built, helping ODNR to mitigate some of the most serious deterioration hazards and protect homeowners downstream of the dams.

Our team provided comprehensive engineering services that included dam inspections and assessments, hydrology and hydraulic evaluations, geotechnical investigations, structural assessments, dam break modeling, foundation mapping, alternatives analysis, structural design, rehabilitation design, permitting, emergency action plans, bidding-phase support, construction administration and construction inspection. Construction has been completed at Roosevelt Lake, Pike Lake, Pond Lick Lake, Lake Alma, Lake Loramie, Mount Gilead Upper and Lower Lakes, and Blue Rock Dam. Engineering and/or construction is currently underway for Buckeye Lake, Stewart Lake and Knox Lake.

As part of these projects, Michael Baker designed rehabilitation measures, including seepage control and drains, Roller Compacted Concrete overtopping protection, spillway repair and replacement, spillway capacity improvements including labyrinth spillways, rehabilitation of control towers and drawdown structures, post-tensioned anchors and dowels, and stability enhancement for both earthen and concrete dams.

Michael Baker adopted an innovative approach to provide value and deliver the projects within or below budget. At Mt. Gilead and Roosevelt Lake, for example, our experts designed a repair solution that would anchor the existing training walls into soil, rather than demolishing the existing walls and replacing them with new structures. At Roosevelt Lake alone, this design approach saved more than $1 million in construction costs while providing the desired dam safety and stability.

At Lake Loramie, we constructed a labyrinth spillway offline to allow normal pool to be maintained throughout construction, thus limiting the impact to the park, homeowners and businesses surrounding the lake. We also identified other value engineering ideas such as the use of a floodwall, as opposed to a large embankment, which reduced the amount of property required from an adjacent farmland to tie the existing embankment to a new spillway. This floodwall served the same purpose and significantly reduced the acreage to be acquired, resulting in $300,000 in savings to ODNR. This project received the 2019 ACEC Outstanding Achievement Award in the Water Resources Category.

Standard of Excellence

“Michael Baker’s collective knowledge of dam rehabilitation and expertise in construction administration has been a huge advantage to six dam rehabilitation projects for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).”

Jared D.
Project Engineer

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