Visitors to four Tennessee Valley Authority dams in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee can expect to see large pieces of equipment nearby as TVA conducts geotechnical evaluations beginning in early December.
The study of the concrete, earth and rock structures at Nickajack, Tims Ford, Wheeler and Guntersville dams are the latest in a “health check” of all 49 dams in the TVA system. TVA’s dams are safe. The health checks are part of a continuous improvement campaign to make sure TVA’s dams meet today’s stringent industry safety standards.
During the health checks, the integrity of each dam and the surrounding area is tested. The process involves drilling holes into the concrete, rock and soil at and near the dams. This will not harm the dam or the environment, but does help TVA engineers affirm the structural integrity of the dams.
As the work progresses, visitors will notice large equipment at and near the dams, including some on barges. Temporary road closures and other access restrictions may be necessary to ensure the safety of the public and the work crews at various phases of the project. Work at all four dams should be complete by March.
All scheduled work is subject to change depending on weather, geotechnical conditions encountered and other factors.