“The system worked.”
A week after a crack was noticed in Weston Dam at Fort Jackson, that’s what everyone was saying. Why? Because three groups had gotten together, gone through the process and repaired the issue.
In December, Fort Jackson Department of Public Works’ dam safety staff noticed a crack in the dam during a routine maintenance inspection. This triggered a series of protocols that were executed perfectly. This included virtual assessments by USACE experts of the conditions on site.
First, the DPW was able to immediately implement emergency repairs the next day, using material that had been staged on site by the Charleston District for conditions like this.
“We previously had our temporary repairs contractor leave materials at the dam to fix minor issues like this,” said David Dodds, construction chief. “There were 1100 cubic yards of sand and gravel staged on-site available for the DPW to make temporary repairs while the permanent repair design is completed and implemented.”
Next, Wilmington District’s dam safety experts were on site within a week with Charleston District personnel to assess the near- and long-term risks.
Charleston and Wilmington District’s are working together to conduct an environmental assessment and complete the design of the permanent repairs on the dam and spillway. Once the full scope is ready, the District will put a contract for the project out for bid for permanent repairs.
“This project highlights the partnership the Charleston District has with the Fort Jackson DPW and Wilmington District to rapidly respond to issues on base and execute contingency plans,” said Dodds. “Conducting inspections and identifying issues so they can be fixed before there are major problems proves how the system worked.”
Fort Jackson has a strong focus on Dam Safety, which shows through the commitment to inspections and maintenance resourcing. The District will continue to work with the installation and Wilmington District to ensure the system keeps working.