2023 – US Army Corps of Engineers Review of Concrete Chute Spillways – Phase II

Mike Phillips, Jamie Lopez-Soto, Steve Townsley1, Brett Hepperman, Taylor Bradley, Mikaela Mahoney, Yajayra Diaz

The purpose of this paper is to document the Phase II review of the existing concrete chute spillways in the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) portfolio of dams. This internal review was undertaken in response to the partial spillway failure of the Oroville Dam concrete chute spillway in February 2017, the partial spillway failure of the Guajataca Dam concrete chute spillway as a result of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, and to address the request by the United States Congress for USACE, United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), and the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review their respective portfolios for similar spillway vulnerabilities as Oroville Dam. The intent of the Phase II review was to perform a more detailed review of all existing 118 concrete chute spillways within the USACE portfolio that may be susceptible to damage/failure during operation and present a prioritized list of spillways to USACE headquarters that may present a risk of partial failure. An overview of the screening tool that was developed to numerically assess and rank the spillway chutes with an example spillway review and results of statistical analyses of the Phase II review of the portfolio is presented in this paper.

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