A press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers states that repairs to Wolf Creek Dam are a year ahead of schedule. With completion of the date near, the Corps said that it plans to raise the level of Lake Cumberland by 20 feet this summer.
In 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowered the level of the lake by 40 feet to ease the pressure on the nearly mile-long dam; failure of the dam would have flooded several communities along the Cumberland River in both Kentucky and Tennessee. The lake has remained at the lowered level of 680 feet above sea level since the initial discovery of structural stress.
The lowering of the water level at Lake Cumberland resulted in fewer visitors to the lake and hurt local marinas, including the marina at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park.
According to Don Getty, project Manager for the Wolf Creek Dam Foundation Remediation Project, the barrier wall is currently on track to be completed by the early spring of 2013. The barrier wall is the most critical component of the dam safety project and will have to be completed prior to raising the lake level.
Within one month of the completion of the barrier wall, a safety team will review data to ensure it meets necessary safety and quality standards. “We expect this review to happen within one month of the barrier wall completion,” Getty said.
After the inspection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will raise the lake in increments. The initial increment will target an operating zone between elevations of 700 to 705 feet above sea level, or about 20 feet higher than the current range of elevation.
“The purpose of this initial increment is to determine how the dam reacts to these higher sustained lake levels before raising the lake further,” Getty said. “Instruments installed in the dam will be monitored and analyzed during this time. If the dam performs as expected during the initial incremental pool raise and after another safety review, the goal will be to return the lake to its historical operating levels without further increments.”
The lake is expected to be operating in its normal range by the fall of 2013.
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park is located in south central Kentucky near Jamestown and just north of the Kentucky/Tennessee state line and about 110 miles from Metro Louisville.
Facilities at Lake Cumberland include two lodges, cottages, and the Rowena Landing Restaurant at the Lure Lodge. Also at Lure Lodge is an indoor pool and hot tub; one of only two indoor pools in the Kentucky park system.
Recreational opportunities abound with a disc golf course, fishing, a marina, hiking trails, and much more.
For more detailed driving directions to the park, use Google Maps.