Projects Water Resources

Acton Lake Dam & Spillway Rehabilitation

Oxford, Ohio

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources selected DLZ to provide the required professional services to conduct preliminary investigations and prepare a Preliminary Design Report for the rehabilitation of the Acton Lake Dam and Spillway, located in the Hueston Woods State Park near Oxford, Ohio.

The project was built in the mid 1950’s, and consists of an earthfill embankment, side channel concrete spillway, concrete lined outlet channel, lake drain structure, and other appurtenant structures. The earthfill portion of the dam is about 60 feet high and 1,100 feet long. The spillway has a crest length of about 330 feet and is an ogee section.

The lake drain structure is about 80 feet from the upstream shore of the embankment. Various concrete retaining walls and concrete panels are located at the left end of the embankment and downstream of the spillway crest.

DLZ engaged a wide range of disciplines in order to accomplish the project tasks. A detailed site inspection was conducted by a team of several engineers. Test borings and coring of the concrete were performed in order to determine the actual conditions.

Geotechnical analyses indicated that the slope stability was adequate, but that underseepage and exit gradients were a major problem. Structural evaluation of the retaining walls indicated that they were seriously overstressed.

In addition, the lake drain structure was also structurally deficient.  Extensive deterioration of the concrete had also occurred in many areas. Based on the results of the analyses, various alternatives were evaluated to bring the project into compliance with current dam safety standards.