Upgrades to a major dam in Calgary to increase its resiliency during droughts and floods
The Glenmore Dam and Reservoir are located on the Elbow River within the City of Calgary. The 320 m long, 30 m high concrete gravity dam was built in 1932 primarily to provide a stable supply of potable water to Calgary residents via the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant. Upgrades to this critical infrastructure are needed to improve reservoir operations during both low (drought) and high (flood) flow periods, and to repair deteriorated portions of the dam and other related facilities. KCB is the prime consultant for the project and is responsible for the geotechnical, hydraulic, structural, mechanical, and electrical and controls aspects of the dam upgrades.
The first phase of the project involved moving a critical watermain and gas line from the bridge deck on top of the dam to a new tunnel bored underneath the Elbow River downstream of the dam. This was needed to permit replacement of the bridge deck and improve access across the dam. The new tunnel and utility relocation were completed in spring 2017.
The second phase of the project consists of upgrading the dam to extend its service life. One of the significant upgrades is the replacement of the timber stoplogs across the spillway bays of the dam with electrically operated vertical lift steel gates. Since the stoplogs were not designed to be operated to manage releases or for ice loading, they could only be installed after the flood season and needed to be removed prior to the onset of winter. These constraints adversely affected the operation of the reservoir. The vertical lift steel gates, designed to resist ice loads and flow control operations, will increase water storage during the year and enhance flood management.
Another significant upgrade is the replacement of the bridge deck across the dam which also serves as part of the City’s regional pathway system. The dam upgrades are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.