The new Auxiliary Spillway Update 7/13/02
of you who haven't heard - Tenkiller is getting a new spillway
which is being constructed at normal pool. The construction of
the five new tainter gates is moving right along.
phase of construction began in August 1999. Most of the mass
concrete placements have been completed. The weir, discharge
apron, and the piers are nearly complete. The steel components
for the tainter gates have been arriving on site now for several
weeks. Assembly of the tainter gates will be beginning soon.
assembly of each one is completed, they will be hung one by one
into their permanent positions between the spillway piers. Work
will continue in adding the tainter gate operating machinery,
electrical component work, and all other portions of the concrete
Phase I work is completed, the Phase II work will begin. The
Phase II work will begin by blasting away the rock burden in
front of the new auxiliary spillway to create the approach channel.
The approach channel will connect the new spillway to the main
body of Tenkiller Lake. Much of this work can progress without
ever dropping the pool elevation of the lake. The approach channel
work will continue to a point upstream of the alignment of the
existing roadway. At that point a new highway bridge will be
built over the emerging approach channel. While the new bridge
is being built, traffic on Highway 100 will be diverted across
the new spillway bridge. It will be a painless process for drivers.
They will be driving on the old highway one day and once the
excavation and new bridge building begins, they will be diverted
the next day and driving over the bridge on the new spillway.
This will only be temporary while the new bridge upstream of
the auxiliary spillway is completed.
II work will continue by removing the rock burden toward the
main body of the lake. As the excavation nears the main body
of the lake, there will come a point when a draw down of the
lake will be necessary to complete the approach channel. The
bottom of the approach channel where it connects with the main
body of the lake will be at an elevation that will be 6 feet
below normal pool level on Tenkiller Lake. That is the reason
for the draw down.
construction activities go according to plan and are on schedule,
at some point after the recreation season in 2005, Southwestern
Power Administration will begin a generating schedule on Tenkiller
to create the draw down of 6 feet below the normal pool elevation
of 632.00 feet above mean sea level. Sometime after the 2005
recreation season and probably near the latter part of Autumn
in 2005, the draw down will begin. Depending on rainfall conditions
and the lake elevation at the time the operation begins, the
draw down using power generation should take approximately 30
days. At that time the excavation work on the approach channel
will have progressed to a point where it can complete the final
portions of the excavations in about 30 days from the time the
draw down is complete. The approach channel can be completed
in the dry at the lowered pool elevation. After that, the Phase
II work will be complete and the auxiliary spillway will be fully
operational. When the work is all completed, the calendar will
probably be reading sometime in late January or early February
2006. The lake will be ready to catch the first late winter/early
spring rains and in doing so will hopefully regain the lake's
normal pool elevation before the next recreation season which
will begin in April 2006.
and execution of the operation have been planned to minimize
any negative impacts to lake users and local lake businesses.
It should be relatively painless for all concerned and will result
in a Tenkiller Lake flood control structure that can safely negotiate
the Probable Maximum Flood. In doing so it will assure the continued
safe operation of Tenkiller Ferry Lake for generations of users
The above information was taken
from the US Army Corps of Engineers site, Tulsa District. The
original page can be viewed here.
During the construction
period the area below the dam will be restricted to
all visitors and restricted to all hunting and firearms
activities. The purpose of this restriction is for
the safety of visitors and the workers in the construction
For more information you may call the Tenkiller Lake Office
(Corps of Engineers) at: (918) 487-5252