Wyoming Dam Undergoes Hydrodemolition Face Lift

Published: 13/4, 2021

As part of a comprehensive repair project for the earth-fill Alcova Dam, Pittsburgh, Pa.-based hydrodemolition contractor Penn Hydro was tasked with removing concrete from spillway floors and walls, as well as collection, treatment and disposal of the hydrodemolition wastewater. 

Brad Beaudry, project superintendent for lead contractor NW Construction, says that compared with other concrete removal methods evaluated when planning this project, hydrodemolition was “much faster” and other removal methods “could not touch hydrodemolition in terms of speed.”

A three-person team from Penn Hydro mobilized a Hammelmann pump and a Conjet Robot 557 for the cross-country trek to Wyoming. Conjet customer success manager Tim Best ensured all equipment was in working order, and that the team wound have ready access to spare parts and other materials to prevent a project slowdown.

A pre-project survey uncovered additional areas for repair along the floor of the spillway, which were added to Penn Hydro’s assignment. Despite the expedited schedule necessary to complete the expanded scope of work, the versatility of the Conjet Robot 557’s standard arm ensured high production and rapid reconfiguration from horizontal to vertical removal.

What’s more, the single Robot 557 was all the Penn Hydro team needed to remove 9,535 ft3 (270 m3) of 5,000 psi (345 bar) concrete in just under two months—a pace that ensured the hydrodemolition work would be complete before the frigid temperatures of a Wyoming winter set in. Depths averaged 150 on the spillway floor, and 380 mm on the wall caps.

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