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 Lake Information

The new Auxiliary Spillway Update 7/13/02

For those 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.

The first 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.

As the 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 work.

After the 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.

The Phase 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.

If all 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.

The timing 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 to come.

The above information was taken from the US Army Corps of Engineers site, Tulsa District. The original page can be viewed here.

Notes: 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 area.
For more information you may call the Tenkiller Lake Office (Corps of Engineers) at: (918) 487-5252

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