Erosion at the spillway at Nashville’s lower water reservoir threatened to undercut the spillway, but an underway project aims to halt the problem.
The spillway was not the original one at Lake Nichols, but was added in the mid-1990s after another near catastrophic flood.
That time water overflowed the earthen dam and threatened to wear away parts of the structure. The remedy was to lower a section of the earthen dam, and top it with a new concrete spillway which purposefully permitted high waters to overflow.
But about two years ago, Public Works Director Larry Dunaway noticed that some erosion was cutting into the earth under the spillway.
The city made repairs, but they were washed away in the July 2019 flood.
Dunaway says that the current project will keep that from happening again, and it even makes for some change in the original Mine Creek channel.
Last week crews began building a temporary road to move equipment and materials for the project which is supposed to be completed by June 1.
The project is paid for by state grants and loans, and will cost about $350,000.
The solution is to pour new footing, and a vertical concrete wall at the base along the existing concrete spillway. To permit work on the length of the spillway, crews laid sandbags to deflect the flow of water over the spillway.
Dunaway recalled that he became PWD director about the time of the mid-90s flood.