Massive repair efforts to fix Boone Dam on schedule, within budget

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) - Massive repair efforts to fix Boone Dam remain on schedule and on budget.

That's the latest from the Tennessee Valley Authority, four years after TVA discovered a sinkhole at the base of the dam.

TVA told us at a media briefing Friday, it still expects the project to be complete in 2022, with an estimated cost around $450 million dollars.

On site, crews are currently completing construction on upstream and downstream berms. What that is, are raised mounds that will add overall strength before TVA builds a retaining wall.

That wall is the last major piece of what TVA calls the composite seepage barrier - the key piece of their plan to stop water from flowing under the dam and stabilize it for decades to come.

TVA said they expect to complete the berm work in June, and this fall, TVA hopes to bring in the contractor who will build the cut off wall.

For people who live around Boone Lake, the dam's repair and the return of lake levels can't happen soon enough. But the principle project manager made it clear, they will not rush this project.

Any kind of rework we have to do for quality, safety incidents, environmental incidents that occur, only slow down our schedule. Our top priorities are truly the safety of the public, the workers, and then the quality of work, and the schedule takes care of itself, Sam Vinson, project manager, said.

Another important message from TVA - there are no plans as of now to raise the lake level before 2022. TVA thinks it would be unsafe to raise the dam levels before the dam is fixed.

TVA says it will reveal more about its plan to raise the lake levels later this fall.

Meanwhile a citizen group called the Boone Dam Repair Coalition has formed to push the agency to move as quickly as possible to complete the project.

Copyright 2018 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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