Bolivar Pond Dam

Canton, MA

The upstream stone masonry face of this 160-ft. long, 12-ft. high, retained earth embankment dam failed adjacent along about ¼ of its length. The dam crest is Bolivar Pond Road and is subjected to heavy traffic, including truck traffic from the nearby Department of Public Works, and is considered Intermediate Size, Significant Hazard.

SA provided timely recommendations for emergency response, and performed a Phase I dam safety evaluation consistent with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) guidelines, including detailed Dam Inspection, dam seismic safety and hydraulics and hydrology (H&H) evaluations for use in consideration of dam repair and improvement options.

SA designed repairs and modifications to the dam and prepared the Chapter 253 Permit Application for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Office of Dam Safety. SA routinely met with Town officials and liaising between the Town and the MA DCR ODS staff. During construction, SA assisted the Town Engineer with construction oversight and administration. Following construction, SA prepared Operation and Maintenance and Emergency Action Plans, including performing Dam Breach Analysis and Inundation Mapping, and has continued to inspect the Dam at 5-year intervals.

SA performed the following engineering:

  • Emergency inspection and recommendations;
  • Phase I dam safety inspection in accordance with USACE guidelines;
  • Stability analysis of embankment and downstream stone masonry and concrete walls;
  • Hydraulic and hydrologic (H&H) study;
  • Subsurface exploration by geotechnical borings through dam crest and toe;
  • Installation and monitoring of groundwater observation wells;
  • Consultation for repair/replacement options to meet Town goals and regulatory criteria;
  • Geotechnical design of upstream and downstream embankment buttresses;
  • Structural design of repairs/modifications to spillway and auxiliary outlet;
  • Observation of construction in conjunction with Town Engineer;
  • Dam breach analysis, inundation mapping and preparation of emergency action plan;
  • Semi-Annual Phase I Inspection/Evaluations at 5-year intervals