Report by Liz white, editor
Repairing and resurfacing a massive dam wall is a daunting task at the best of times. When the dam wall in question is 48 m high, in a mountainous region, and shows cracks and escapes at some membranes – together with the fact that it was built in 1942 to 1949 with no steel reinforcement as a result of shortages in the Second World War – the challenges loom larger.
German equipment and technical support company WIWA (Wilhelm Wagner GmbH and co.KG) worked on repairing and coating the surface of the Griotte dam in the Rhone Alps, near Heuteluce, France, said WIWA’s international sales director, Murph Mahaffey.
The cracks and escaped notice during a 2006 inspection are, “a nice way of saying it’s leaking,” commented Mahaffey, noting that good co-operation between all participants was a crucial aspect to the project.
“All of us in this room, equipment and materials suppliers, contractors, architects, and specifiers – create the success of such projects,” said Mahaffey.
Project size and challenges
Dam 48 m x 510 m span (148 feet x 16 75 feet);
Between two mountain ranges, 5732 feet elevation;
Reservoir surface area 75 ha (8.7m ft.²);
Difficult weather conditions;
Cycling temperatures/elevation were demanding on a concrete structure. Water for the Tre-la-Tete glacier is corrosive, and the wind erosion is also an issue. Also, the dam has been painted/coated many times;
1200 kg polyurea sprayed at hundred at…