Gilboa Dam Reconstruction Project
Ensuring that New York City’s 8.3 million residents, not to mention its daily workforce, have access to drinking water is a critical job. Strengthening the Gilboa Dam played a significant part in that. Built to contain the 17.6-billion-gallon Schoharie Reservoir, part of the city’s drinking water system, the 87-year-old concrete dam required restoration. Inspections found that extreme high water could threaten its stability and the downstream population of Schenectady. And high water has been a reality recently: after we began work in 2011, the project was directly hit by Hurricanes Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012). Irene brought the area to a 500-year flood stage.
Our ability to manage water, both drinking water and hurricane-produced water, proved to be a good combination for NYCDEP. We reconstructed the spillway control section, improved hydraulic flow and enhanced structural stability. We also worked hard to replicate the Blue Stone Finish of the original 100-year-old structure by salvaging much of the existing stone for the new retaining wall and using colored concrete and custom form liners. We placed concrete in extreme weather, cold and hot. And we responded to the onslaught of two hurricanes. Despite these challenges, our safety record remained strong, our work of high quality and our schedule on target, and the taps in the City continued to flow.