Norfork Dam Bulkhead

Aiding Spillway Gate Maintenance

To make it easier for the Norfork Dam staff to seal and dewater each of the structure’s 12 spillway gates, Garver designed a system that moves a 65-ton steel structure along a monorail. Garver provided structural, electrical, and mechanical design services for the innovative system that consists of a 130,000-pound maintenance bulkhead running along a 667-foot-long steel monorail beam attached to the dam. After motorized trolleys slide the 24-foot by 48-foot bulkhead in front of a tainter gate bay, the spillway gate is opened. As the bay is dewatered, the resulting differential pressure pushes the bulkhead into the opening and holds it in place, allowing crews to work on the gate and the gate mechanism in dry conditions.

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This is the fifth dam bulkhead that we’ve designed, and as far as I know, those are the only five in existence in the country.
John Watkins Garver Director of Facilities Design

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Wallace Smith, PE

Director of Federal Services

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Wallace Smith, PE


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