The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently performing a large construction project to correct seepage problems at Center Hill Dam. As part of environmental mitigation to continue a minimum flow into the Caney Fork River, this project includes the construction and installation of an orifice gate. The orifice gate is a steel plate with open ports and will be placed over one of six sluice gates, located at the base of the concrete portion of the dam. This orifice gate will provide an approximate 200 cubic foot per second minimum flow through the dam and will provide cold water releases and improve dissolved oxygen downstream to maintain the fishery once the seepage is cut off.
Installation of the orifice gate is scheduled for Tuesday, July 8th from approximately 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Although long-term road closures are not planned, the roadway over the dam will be reduced to one narrow lane and brief interruptions to traffic lasting 15-30 minutes each are expected to occur to allow the use of a crane to lower the orifice gate into place. Although not planned, interruptions to traffic could last as long as one hour.
Travelers, especially those with vehicles exceeding approximately nine feet in width, are encouraged to seek alternate routes during this time. The closest alternate route to drive from one side of the dam to the other is to travel I-40 which is just north of the dam. From the east end of the dam, take Highway 96 to I-40, travel I-40 west for approximately 10 miles to exit #258.
At exit #258, travel south on Highway 53 for approximately one mile before turning onto Highway 141, which leads to the west end of Center Hill Dam.
Additional information on the Center Hill Dam Seepage Rehabilitation Project may be found on the Nashville District website at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/CenterHill/.