Horseshoe Dam was originally constructed in the 1940s and slows the passage of the Verde River flowing into the Horseshoe Lake.

When it was time for demolition of the rock to expose the footprint of the building, blasting wasn’t an option because it would have compromised the structural integrity of the dam. Our Special Projects division developed a solution provider approach of removing the rock using excavators and ho-rams to break the rock and push the material down using dozers. This approach resulted in a stockpile of rock at the bottom of the mountain which was transported to an on-site processing operation. Using a blend of materials generated from the rock removal and on-site soils, PCL constructed a cofferdam to prevent water from the Verde River from entering the work area.

Building in a remote location required a camp set up for on-site workers and also posed challenges around the project access. The dam’s spillway only allowed for a limited capacity, so the project team coordinated on-site deliveries and limited the weight capacity when crossing, such as disassembling the crane to lighten its load. Now complete, the dam’s rehabilitation allows SRP to control the release of water remotely instead of on site, along with enabling the dam to create its own hydroelectric power instead of working off a diesel-powered generator.

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