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Corps of Engineers prepares to conduct repair project at Birch Hill Dam in Royalston

Published June 22, 2012

CONCORD, Mass.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to conduct a repair project at Birch Hill Dam in Royalston, Mass.

Birch Hill Dam is located near Royalston, Mass., in central western Massachusetts. The intake channel was originally built by blasting out rock from the valley side just north of the existing river.  About three years ago, some of the rock blocks fell from the cut rock face on the north side of this channel, impeding the flow, and potentially threatening the stability of the concrete wing wall that extends east from the conduit intake structure. 


This project includes the removal of deteriorated and weak rock from the north side of the intake channel using a long excavator.  Additionally, a sandbag cofferdam would be constructed in the channel bottom in order to dewater the rock debris and work area. Once the slope is taken back, excavation of the resulting rock debris from the channel bottom would be completed.  Additionally, horizontal drilling and rock anchor placement into the cut face would take place, with forming and placement of structural concrete to form an extension of the wing wall being completed after that.


The new wall is to extend 50 feet upstream from the existing wingwall end. The contractor would be responsible for designing and utilizing a temporary crane-supported work platform from which to conduct the horizontal drilling and rock anchor placement. Surface grading, placement of riprap along the top of the slope, and a safety railing along the top of the new wall segment will complete the project. 

Tantara Corporation, out of Worcester, Mass., is the selected contractor.  Work is slated to begin in August 2012 and finish 4-6 weeks later. The cost is approximately $800,000.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2012-060