Seismic Stabilization Project

Staff | September 28, 2010

Manhattan, KS— Lafarge, the largest supplier of cement products in the U.S. and Canada, says it is working with Treviicos Corp., an internationally known geotechnical and foundation contractor, to help improve the Tuttle Creek Dam on the Big Blue River near Manhattan so it can withstand a magnitude 6.6 earthquake. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations state that all dams "are required to survive and remain safe during and following the maximum credible earthquake event," which is defined as a 6.6-magnitude quake in Kansas.

As the world's largest foundation stabilization project on an operational dam, the multiyear structural modification work involves jet grouting, deep soil mixing, and introducing cement into foundation sands. Lafarge worked closely with Treviicos to test various combinations of Portland and slag cements to meet specifications requiring a minimum strength of 170 psi over an area 6,000 feet long to a depth of more than 200 feet.

Based on test results and an inspection of Lafarge's local manufacturing and distribution capabilities, it was determined that Lafarge MaxCem blended cement would be the most reliable solution for the dam safety-assurance project, the largest ever undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers. According to Lafarge, MaxCem is an engineered blend of slag and Portland cements that provides enhanced strength, durability, workability, and placeability characteristics.

Built in 1963, Tuttle Creek Dam is a 1.5-mile-long rolled-earth and rock fill structure 9 miles upstream from the confluence of the Blue and Kansas rivers and 125 miles west of Kansas City, MO. The seismic stabilization project, scheduled for completion in September 2010, will require 75,000 tons of the 50/50 MaxCem blended cement.