Penn Forest Dam

Chatworth, NJ

Conti received the American Council of Engineering Company's national Honor Award for Water Resources and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials' National Rehabilitation Project of the Year.

Suffering from a series of complications since its construction in 1960, the Penn Forest Dam had continuing problems with weep holes, seepage and a 15-foot sink hole. As critical infrastructure, the dam supplies a source of water for the community from the adjacent reservoir. The City of Bethlehem sought to remediate the dam’s structural issues and address flood control protection for the area.

Conti constructed the new dam which included huge structural reinforcements, raising the dam’s walls by three feet to increase spillway capacity. The team constructed the dam walls and lined them with more than 2,000 six-foot-high, sixteen-foot-wide, four-inch-thick concrete panels, weighing over 3,000 pounds per unit.

Conti also constructed two on-site batch plants, one for grout, one for concrete, and a conveyor system to transport roller compacted concrete (RCC) needed for the project. Because of the sophisticated computer system used by the plant, crews kept exact concentrations of ingredients constant. Conti maintained quality control of the RCC by conducting daily tests to ensure proper temperature of the concrete across seasons. The plants operated six days per week, two shifts per day. This approach was very efficient, as it produced 6,000 tons of RCC daily.

Upon completion, the Penn Forest Dam was the third largest RCC project in the US. Conti safely delivered the project on budget, on schedule and with as little disturbance to the surrounding area as possible without losing material due to the elements.

Project details

Client City of Bethlehem
Value $24.4M
Status Project Completed
Key features
  • Constructed new dam (2,000 feet in length, 180 feet tall, holding 6.2 billion gallons of water)
  • Constructed two on-site batch plants with a conveyor system
  • Placed, leveled and compacted 400,000 cubic yards roller compacted concrete

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