Earthquake Protection Now Focus at Arkansas Lake

By WAYLON HARRIS | October 2, 2012

Work at the future site of Bono Lake, Ark., is about to focus on protection from an earthquake.

Pads that will eventually support a large earth dam are at platform height, and construction is near on a slurry wall designed to protect the dam from tremors.

Crews recently installed a large concrete pipe system to replace a creek on the property, and now they are working to install a temporary cofferdam to divert water from the creek to the concrete tile system, Craighead County Judge Ed Hill said.

“Once they get it built, they’ll start cutting the creek off,” he said.

Hill said crews are scheduled to begin installing the slurry wall in November.

“Once they get in here, they’ll be here until they get it finished,” he said.

The slurry wall material isn’t solid, “so it should give some if an earthquake occurs,” Hill said. “It won’t crack like solid concrete.”

Hill said crews are still working to locate suitable soil to complete the dam. Preliminary tests of sand and material found at the site suggest the material is suitable for the dam construction, he said, but the quantity of the material is still unknown.

“It kind of changes every day,” Hill said.

“Until we get (the material) up and out of the ground, we really don’t know. We’ve found some sand on-site that (geotechnical engineers) said could work. And we’re digging in some other places on-site.”

Finding material at the site would save the county the cost of shipping material in from elsewhere.

“Masonry-grand sand is pretty expensive, so it would be a big plus for us if we can find it all on-site,” Hill said. “It’d be a big cost savings.”

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