Construction on a cutoff wall has started at Wolf Creek Dam with officials say it is designed to prevent erosion from undermining the electrical switchyard near the base of the structure.
Wolf Creek Dam Rehabilitation Project Manager Don Getty says the new section of cutoff wall will be 180 feet long and constructed by drilling 50-inch overlapping holes, same as the 4,000-foot-long permanent concrete barrier wall was inserted in the dam during the past six years.
Getty told The Commonwealth-Journal the cutoff wall near the switchyard won't be as deep as the 275-foot-deep wall in the dam.
The project is an extension of the cutoff wall installed during the 1970s after serious leaks developed in the structure a decade earlier.
Heavy rains have pushed the water level on Lake Cumberland higher than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants it for this summer.
Reservoir Operations Manager Tom Hale told The Commonwealth-Journal the lake will reach 714 feet above sea level Thursday. That's about nine feet below the tree line and nine feet above the 705-foot target level for this summer.
Some 23,600 cubic feet of water per second were being released through Wolf Creek Dam to lower the lake.
There are no problems at the dam. A 7-year rehabilitation of the mile-long structure was completed in March and the lake level was allowed to rise 20 feet for this summer's vacation season.
The heavy rains created tides along small creeks that washed a lot of debris into the lake.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning a public meeting in January to solicit comments about restricting access in hazardous waters immediately upstream and downstream of Wolf Creek Dam and all Corps-owned locks and dams in Kentucky and Tennessee.
The dates for the meetings have not been set.
The Commonwealth-Journal reports that the Corps is concerned about hazardous water areas above and below dams in the Nashville District. The waters pose a high level of risk for the public because of the hydroelectric and lock operations often begin with little or no notice.
Public information meetings are planned at Somerset, Paducah, Nashville and Cookeville, Tenn.
U-S Senator Rand Paul wants to delay the Senate Confirmation of Army Lt.General Thomas Bostick to become the Corp's Commanding General. The lawmaker from Bowling Green is unhappy with the Corp's performance in the Bluegrass State. Repairs on the Wolf Creek Dam, which impounds Lake Cumberland, have taken longer and cost more than expected. That project carries a price tag of more than a half billion dollars.