U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today announced that the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which passed the full Senate last night, includes funding to aggressively continue the safety repairs at Wolf Creek and Center Hill Dams. The bill also provides funding for several other water infrastructure projects in middle Tennessee.
Both Center Hill and Wolf Creek Dams were designated “high risk” for failure in January of 2007. The Senators said that currently ratepayers in Middle Tennessee have to pay an additional $100 million a year in replacement power while water levels at the dams are down for the repairs.
“This bill includes several projects important to Tennesseans like repairing two dams that have been designated ‘high risk’ since 2007,” said Alexander, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The funding in this bill will help ensure that Tennesseans across our state have safe, reliable water.”
“Maintaining Tennessee’s water-related infrastructure is particularly important given the tough economic conditions facing our citizens and our state government. Funds provided in this bill will help support the continued safe operation of major dams and locks for the communities that depend upon them,” Corker said.
Key Tennessee projects funded in the Senate version of the FY10 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act include:
• $123 million for repairs to Wolf Creek Dam. Seepage has caused zones of high water pressure in the embankment next to the dam, posing a significant risk of dam failure and threatening the surrounding communities with flooding. Funding would be used to continue to build a cutoff wall to prevent seepage into the embankment. The bill also includes $7.8 million for operations and maintenance of the dam.
• $56 million for repairs to Center Hill Dam. Since its construction in 1951, seepage problems have cost millions of dollars for constant upkeep. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Dam Safety Portfolio Risk Assessment ranked Center Hill Dam as a Class I dam safety project -- the highest priority of all Corps dams. The bill also includes $6.1 million for operations and maintenance of the dam.
• $50,000 for the Mill Creek Watershed to complete a feasibility study to address flooding problems. Mill Creek is a major tributary of the Cumberland River in southeastern Davidson County and northwestern Williamson County.
• $6.5 million for Cheatham Lock and Dam for continued operations and maintenance.
• $6.8 million for Cordell Hull Dam and Reservoir for continued operations and maintenance.
• $4.8 million for J. Percy Priest Dam and Reservoir for continued operations and maintenance.
• $12.3 million for Old Hickory Lock and Dam for continued operations and maintenance.
• $6.4 million for Dale Hollow Lake Dam for continued operations and maintenance.