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Construction Of Masonry Dams | by Chester W. Smith



Many volumes have been written upon the design of masonry dams; the principal features and methods have been reduced to what may be called an accepted, standard practice. It is hoped that the present work will supply the details of construction and supervision which have not been adequately covered heretofore. For a number of years descriptions of particular dams have appeared in the engineering periodicals, but little attention has been given in these articles to the general principles of construction involved.

TitleConstruction Of Masonry Dams
AuthorChester W. Smith
PublisherMcgraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.
Year1915
Copyright1915, Mcgraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.
AmazonConstruction Of Masonry Dams
-Preface
This book has been written from the point of view of the constructing engineer. It discusses only those features of design which are or may be variable with each particular case, or which, from their ...
-Introduction
Of all structures designed and built by engineers, a masonry dam is probably the one about which there is the least amount of exact knowledge. Lest there be a disposition to question this proposition,...
-Introduction. Continued
First In the specification of expensive details or methods to secure some real or fancied effect which the constructor could sufficiently approximate at less cost. Second The designer, not knowing ...
-Chapter I. Exploring The Site
In advance of any construction work, a thorough knowledge of the character of the foundation is necessary. This may be obtained by a study of surface indications, together with test pits, wash borings...
-Wash Drill Borings
In order to determine whether rock exists and the depth to the rock (questions Nos. 1 and 3a) the procedure is to cover the site with wash drill borings. Briefly the method is to drive down to rock an...
-Difficulties And Cost Of Wash Borings
This method is intended only to locate the surface of the ledge, as it is not adapted to penetrating rock as rock is generally classified. The most difficult material to go through is gravel or hardpa...
-Difficulties And Cost Of Wash Borings. Interpretation Of Results
The water together with all the material washed up should be caught in a tub; the samples should be preserved in small bottles with identifying labels, the location of the holes be properly shown upon...
-Core Borings In The Rock
The site of any important dam should be carefully studied by a competent geologist, who should not only be conversant with the geological history of the entire region, but should be afforded time and ...
-Different Kinds Of Drills
Possessing this feature in common are three distinct types of machines. The Brandt drill is a very satisfactory one, used, however, more often in Europe than in this country. The cutting is done by ch...
-Cost Of Core Drilling
The cost of core drilling varies between much wider limits than almost any other kind of work. For large holes for wells or elevator foundations it may often be the case that the contractor has, from ...
-Cost Of Core Drilling. Interpretation Of Results
Even while the first hole at a site is in progress one rarely need be in doubt as to whether the core is from a boulder or from bed rock. Should the core be exactly the same kind of rock as adjacent e...
-Illustrative Examples
For purposes of illustration the logs of five of the eleven holes whose cost was given on page 16 are given on page 19. Elevation of water in river - 89 to 90. Considering the character of the rock a...
-Testing Of Holes By Air Or Water Pressure
Occasionally a seam is encountered of such width that the drill runner can perceive the drop of the cutting tool. The amount of information that an experienced drill runner can get from feeling the dr...
-Testing Borings At Olive Bridge Dam
The apparatus consists essentially of a double pipe long enough to reach to the bottom of the test hole and provided at the upper end with a clamp, a pressure connection and a pressure gage, and at th...
-Chapter II. Temporary Works For Stream Diversion
It is important that the temporary works for control of the stream during the early period of construction should be so designed and constructed as to afford a maximum of safety to the work and to tho...
-Various Types Of Diversion Works
The condition determining what will here be called the type of diversion works, is the available room, i.e., the width of the valley at or about water level. Three distinct types may be defined as fol...
-Various Types Of Diversion Works. Part 2
Conditions indicating such a scheme of diversion may merge by any number of gradations into others which would properly call for-what is here termed Type 2 of diversion works. The chief difference wo...
-Various Types Of Diversion Works. Part 3
Again, unless the rock is exceptionally favorable, or the tunnel deeply buried (i.e., kept some distance away from the foundation of the dam) the process of excavating the tunnel may open seams in the...
-Various Types Of Diversion Works. Part 4
In the dam recently completed for the Mississippi River Power Company at Keokuk, Iowa, many of the conditions and methods were practically identical to the foregoing. The foundation was very favorable...
-Various Types Of Diversion Works. Part 5
The large flume was in commission about a year and a half before the first stone was laid, and nearly three years altogether. It was abandoned at a low stage of the river and the flow turned through f...
-Various Types Of Diversion Works. Part 6
The Medina dam near San Antonio, Texas, presented probably the extreme of favorable conditions for simple and inexpensive diversion. The dam is 166 ft. high across a canyon whose level limestone floor...
-Various Types Of Diversion Works. Part 7
The working periods, and the causes for the various delays when work was suspended, were as follows: Contract let September 23, 1905, winter of 1905-1906 built flume, flood destroyed flume June 13, 19...
-Chapter III. Preparing The Foundation
Masonry is or should be much sounder and tighter than rock, so the question of a foundation is how much indifferent rock should be replaced by good masonry. The depth to which it will be necessary to ...
-Final Stage Of Excavation
As the rock excavation proceeds toward a possible satisfactory foundation, increasing care should be used that the rock is not unnecessarily shattered. The amount of explosive should be limited, and, ...
-Starting The Masonry
We arrive now at that feature which, of all others in dam construction, is an art rather than a science. Practically all dam foundations are more or less wet, and to handle the water properly while st...
-Grouting
The amount of grout to be pumped into the foundation may in many cases be so small that a hand force pump such as is made especially to handle grout will be ample for the purpose. (See Plate VI, Fig. ...
-Data On Two Grouted Foundations
Information regarding two rather extensive grouting operations is here abstracted from published accounts. The first work was at the Estacada dam near Portland, Oregon, and the second at Lahontan ...
-Data On Two Grouted Foundations. Continued
The material penetrated was red sandstone varying all the way from very hard and close-grained like marble to a tough red clay. It was originally proposed to penetrate 50 ft. into the material with a ...
-Chapter IV. Masonry Construction
It is not the purpose to enter here upon a history of the evolution of the art of masonry construction, however interesting such a history might be; nor to describe ancient masonry structures however ...
-Manufactured Sand
If acceptable pit sand is not obtainable or obtainable only at too great an expense, resort must or may be made to sand crushed from rock. Roughly speaking, it might be said that when the cost of pit ...
-Mortar
Cement is usually purchased for delivery in sacks under a specification which defines a sack as containing 0.9 cu. ft. of cement and weighing 95 lb. While occasionally a sack should be weighed as a ch...
-Stone
For the same reason that concrete aggregate should be graded the stone may, in fact should, be of all sizes from spalls up to the largest that can be economically handled by the plant, although actual...
-Stone. Continued
To prepare a bed for the stone use plenty of mortar, heaping it somewhat in the center and with 2 in. or 3 in. in depth at the edges. If the bed of the stone is concave it may be necessary to build a ...
-Cyclopean Masonry
The last of the important dams of this country to be built by the method which has been described, i.e., by bedding the large stones in mortar and the filling of vertical joints with spalls and mortar...
-Progress In Masonry Construction
The number of cu. yd. built per derrick per hour is the only really logical and enlightening unit by which to compare intelligently progress under one method with progress under another in the analysi...
-Conditions Governing Progress
It is believed that the difference between the progress to be expected by the two methods employed on the Wachusett and Roosevelt dams, however startling it may appear at first sight, is correctly rep...
-Arrangement And Moving Of Derricks
The efficiency of the masonry derricks depends greatly upon an intelligent plan for placing them and coordinating their subsequent movements. On starting masonry construction a plan should be made sho...
-Chapter V. Quarrying
The term Quarrying as applied to the process of producing stone for use in the construction of a masonry dam should properly be explained and qualified somewhat. In many cases this process would be ...
-Quarrying. Continued
Cost of quarrying ($0,841 per cu. yd.) in above table applied to a period when only rubble masonry was laid; when face stones were obtained from same quarry the cost of quarrying was increased from $...
-Chapter VI. Face Work
In addition to questions of pure utility, the architectural appearance should be given careful thought in connection with any important structure. This is as true of dams as of buildings. The amount o...
-Face Work. Continued
Among the main requirements of usual practice are these: that the depth of stretchers shall be from one to one and one-half times the rise of the course; that the length shall be not less than two tim...
-Inclination Of Beds
Some necessary differences in treatment, both in cutting and setting the stone, between the upstream and downstream faces of the dam deserve mention. The upstream face of a masonry dam is usually plum...
-Cost Of Face Work
For a description of the quarries at the Roosevelt dam see page 81. The stone for the upstream face was cut to make a 2-in. joint, no depth from the face specified, and the cost of cutting was as foll...
-Cost Of Concrete Blocks
The very uniformity in size that makes cut stone expensive makes concrete blocks cheap, i.e., standardizes the forms and reduces their number. Absolute uniformity in size is not necessary to secure a ...
-Pointing
Soon after the mortar acquires its initial set and before it acquires its final set, the joints should be raked out to a depth from the face of two to three times the thickness of the joint. The refil...
-Chapter VII. Miscellaneous Features. Freezing Weather
When it is desired to lay masonry in freezing weather certain precautions must be observed in order that the masonry shall not be damaged. To the water used in mixing the mortar or concrete, salt shou...
-Settlement Of Masonry
Two causes operate to produce a settlement in masonry: First The contraction of volume due to the setting of the mortar or concrete. Second The weight of the masonry results in actual compression....
-Settlement Of Masonry. Continued
It often happens, however, that it is necessary to leave a low place in the dam for a considerable time, during which it is desirable that work on the masonry should be in progress over the greatest p...
-Uplift Pressure
Water from the reservoir enters under pressure the masonry of a dam and also the rock foundation underneath. Under certain circumstances it may produce an uplift pressure sufficient to affect seriousl...
-Uplift Pressure. Part 2
The observations indicated that pressures existed as follows: Section A-B on one side of the bottom of the foundation; full head at heel to one-half at toe; section C-D next in order, full head at hee...
-Uplift Pressure. Part 3
Three years after the dam was completed the pressure was observed on the pipe leading from the warm spring under the dam. Water in the reservoir was at elevation 115. The pressure gage was put on at e...
-Drainage Of Masonry
A feature in the design of several recent dams (Elephant Butte, Arrowrock, Olive Bridge, Kensico, Farnham, Barker, and others) is a system of drainage in the masonry near the upstream face to interce...
-Chapter VIII. Miscellaneous Features (Continued). Effect Of Temperature Changes
All long masonry structures which are exposed to appreciable changes of temperature will contain temperature cracks. In a masonry dam they manifest themselves principally at or near the top where the ...
-Leakage - Expansion Joints
Practically all masonry dams show leakage upon their downstream face; in fact only in the case of one curved dam is it claimed that absolutely no leakage can be detected. Some dams show only a slight ...
-Leakage - Expansion Joints. Part 2
The Assouan dam contains many abrupt changes of section, both on account of considerable steps in the foundation and from the sluices through the masonry. While much of it was built during very hot we...
-Leakage - Expansion Joints. Part 3
It may be mentioned here that the introduction of such joints operates to reduce the amount of stone which it is feasible to introduce per cubic yard of masonry. The reason is that such stone, in orde...
-Ice Thrust
The provision in the design of dams for a possible thrust from a field of ice is a question which has for some years been recognized, and regarding which considerable controversy has been waged. The b...
-Initial Stress
There is one condition which necessarily accompanies the construction of every large dam which is never taken into account in any discussion of the principles of design. It may be that this neglect is...
-Instructions To Inspectors
Some of the following instructions are applicable only to dams built under specifications similar to those of the Wachusett dam, i.e., vertical joints filled with hand-laid mortar and spalls. It is pr...
-To The Chief Inspector
Observe all of the foregoing instructions to inspectors and: First See that the inspectors do likewise. Second Keep in close touch with every feature of all operations upon which the quality of th...
-Chapter IX. Plant And Power
Details as to location, layout or arrangement of plant are so involved with the topographical and other conditions peculiar to any particular dam that it is almost useless to lay down any but a few of...
-Depreciation Of Plant And Other Factors
Plant charge must include not only the depreciation on equipment, but freight and handling to the job and back to where the equipment can be sold or used on another job. It is often the case that retu...
-Source Of Power
Both the source, and the manner of distribution of the power are matters of increasing importance with increase in magnitude of the work. In addition to mere magnitude there may be many individual fac...
-Distribution Of Power
Comparing steam with compressed air it may be said, if steam is piped any distance from the boiler, the loss from condensation is great, further, the hot steam pipes are in the way and costly to maint...
-Chapter X. Installation Required And Power Consumption
The total number of machines required of each kind, such as derricks, cableways, pumps, crushers, mixers, etc., should be estimated as closely as possible. A further estimate should be made as to the ...
-Comparison Of Performances
To show the relations between central station plant, h.p.-hours actually delivered, amount of machinery operated and work accomplished, some actual experiences are here given. The performance at the R...
-Comparison Of Performances. Part 2
The New Croton dam is one of the largest that has been completed to date. The quantities involved are 1,821,400 cu. yd. earth excavation, 400,250 cu. yd. rock excavation and 855,000 cu. yd. of masonry...
-Comparison Of Performances. Part 3
In the quarry are employed both Temple drills and ordinary large sized pneumatic drills, the latter supplied from three compressors with a combined capacity of 4500 cu. ft. of free air per minute, in ...
-Chapter XI. Assembling Materials, Crushing And Mixing
For a small dam the assembling, handling and placing of the materials may well be merged into what might be called two operations, hauling materials to site, and building the dam. To elucidate: Severa...
-Assembling Materials, Crushing And Mixing. Continued
Sand Cement Plant Description and Cost of Modern Plant - The plant (see Fig. 26) is at the Elephant Butte dam, and is complicated by the inclusion of a plant for the manufacture of sand cement. The d...
-Chapter XII. Transportation Of Materials
In any system for transferring the materials to the dam, the points to be desired are the following: First That the motion be as direct and continuous as possible because change of direction or inte...
-Transportation Of Materials. Part 2
Fig. 30. Erection of cable way tower. Fig. 31. Erection of a cableway tower. A recent very ingenious mounting of cableways in Germany is illustrated and described in Engineering News for November...
-Transportation Of Materials. Part 3
At all of the above-mentioned cases it seems to have worked out that it Was found advisable to deliver some stone at night. This is natural as it results in economy of time if the cableway can work re...
-Delivery By Tracks
The Kensico dam now being constructed by the New York Board of Water Supply will contain about 1,000,000 cu. yd. of cyclopean concrete, of which about 200,000 cu. yd. containing about 27 per cent, of ...
-Delivery By Tracks. Continued
Fifth If the origin of the stone and concrete be at the elevation of the floor of the valley and delivery be made by tracks and cars, there enters the question of how to come within reach of derricks...
-Delivery By Chutes And Belt Conveyors
This system is increasingly common in ordinary building operations. The concrete is elevated at some centrally-located tower, dumped into a hopper and then distributed by means of chutes, the chutes b...
-Pneumatic Mixing And Conveying
Another system of delivering concrete deserves mention, not because it has been applied to any large mass work such as a dam, but because it seems to possess possibilities for development in that dire...
-Chapter XIII. Probable Future Methods
The history of masonry dam construction during the past generation offers several illustrations of radical departure from previously accepted standards. These changes, as well as the advance in the si...
-Development Of Existing Appliances
When we contemplate the development of cyclopean concrete, the tendency (too pronounced and persistent to be accidental) toward a smaller percentage of stone, and the saving in cost of both plant and ...
-Development Of Existing Appliances. Continued
A variation from the usual plan may be made, not only that more cableways may be used at any and all stages of the work, but also that if there is at some stages some inequality in performance still, ...
-Possible New Appliances
Nearly five years ago the writer proposed the following plant and method for constructing a large masonry dam: Assuming the body of the dam to be of concrete with large stone embedded in it, and the...
-Possible New Appliances. Continued
Assume on the tramways a speed of 200 ft. per minute for the traveling line. The loads could be spaced less than one minute apart, possibly forty to fifty seconds. Assume 1-cu.yd. batches of concrete...
-Chapter XIV. Estimates Of Cost. Conception And Development Of A Project
A project passes through several distinct stages between the time of inception and the time of completion, and its progress involves several or possibly numerous estimates of cost. The various estimat...
-Estimates Of Cost. Conception And Development Of A Project. Part 2
In considering Estimate No. 3 several things should be borne in mind. The following may usually be fairly said regarding the engineer responsible for it: First He is more able and experienced than t...
-Estimates Of Cost. Conception And Development Of A Project. Part 3
One further estimate, or rather half estimate, which may be called No. 6 is the final and accurate statement of quantities built. This statement taken in connection with the final and accurate, or rat...
-Diagrams For Preliminary Estimates Of Quantities
For a preliminary estimate of the quantities involved, based upon profiles of earth and rock surfaces across the valley, use accompanying diagrams as follows: For masonry in a dam without overflow, a...
-Diagrams For Preliminary Estimates Of Quantities. Part 2
For Steam Generation, Compressed Air Distribution A Central Station Comprising Items 1 to 7, of proper capacity (9) Steam piping to compressors (10) Compressors including foundations (11) House for...
-Diagrams For Preliminary Estimates Of Quantities. Part 3
It may be good business to store the plant at some point (as at the nearest railroad station) that it must pass through to become available anywhere, and hold it for prospective adjacent work. On the...
-Diagrams For Preliminary Estimates Of Quantities. Part 4
B. Expendible Material Material, supplies and minor equipment used up during the prosecution of the work may be listed as: Fuel Blacksmith's coal Explosives Lubricants Drill steel Repair parts,...
-Labor Cost Of Masonry. Roosevelt Dam
March 1908. March 1909. 12,000 cu. yd. 1 cu. yd. 18,328 cu. yd. 1 cu. yd. Cement tramway 1,700 ft. long. Took 8,958...
-Labor Cost Of Masonry. Roosevelt Dam. Continued
Relation Of Output To Unit Cost At The Roosevelt Dam As an illustration of the principles above set forth, attention is invited to figures (pages 206 to 209 inclusive) for the labor cost of masonry f...
-Contingent Items
Some of the principal points which should be considered in connection with the estimate of a contingent item are here suggested. No claim is made that the almost impossible task of including them all ...
-Contingent Items. Continued
G. Overhead Expenses A more or less arbitrary proportion of certain expenses which are or may be practically constant whatever the volume of business. For example, expense of main office and organiza...
-Preparation Of A Bid
After all the foregoing items have been assembled to form a total for which the bidder is prepared to do the work, they must, as indicated on page 192, be combined and redistributed to conform to the ...
-Industrial Railroad
After grading has been done or estimated, wooden trestles as follows: 10 to 12 ft. B. M. per sq. ft. of opening spanned, i.e., between ground surface and base of rail, estimate $15 to $18 per M. ft. B...
-Chapter XV. Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Sodom Dam
This is said to have been the first dam upon the construction of which a cableway was employed. A 2-in. cable weighing 7 lb. per ft. was stretched between towers 667 ft. apart. It was at first given a...
-Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Part 2
Cross River Dam (Fig. 46). In addition to the dam, the contract included a spur track connection with a railroad and 5 1/2 miles of highways. The prices bid for the principal items were as follows: ...
-Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Part 3
Olive Bridge Dam (Fig. 48). The Olive Bridge dam is a portion of a system of dams and dikes retaining the water in Ashokan Reservoir. (See page 143 for brief description.) Olive Bridge dam itself co...
-Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Part 4
Boonton Dam (Fig. 49). A preliminary organization acquired right-of-way, land for quarry, built quarry railroad, trestles along the dam, cofferdams and office buildings, installed pumps and consider...
-Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Part 5
Roosevelt Dam (Fig.51, See Also Frontispiece). The dam is situated on the Salt river 75 miles E. N. E. of Phoenix, 40 miles from the railroad at Globe and 60 miles from the railroad at Mesa. A highw...
-Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Part 6
Details Of Item Above. Cost Of Roosevelt Dam Main contract, not final as some claims had not been adjusted.. $1,691,103.87 Cement......... 78.7,336.43 Engineering......
-Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Part 7
Granite Springs Dam Wyoming; built 1903 and 1904; rubble masonry; length 410 ft; max. height 96 ft.; contains 14,422 cu. yd. Total cost of dam including water rights, land, clearing, building, excav...
-Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Part 8
Periyar Dam (Fig. 63). Work on foundations limited to a low water season of only three months. Flood discharges up to 120,000 cf.s. Concrete with uncoursed rubble faces. Concrete composed of 25 part...
-Partial List Of Existing Dams With Descriptions And Costs. Part 9
Boyds Corners Dam (Fig. 66). Rubble 21,000cu. yd., cutstone 6ooocu.yd. Total cost $370,000. Fig. 66. Section of Boyds Comers dam, New York; built 1867 to 1870; nibble masonry; length 670 ft; max...









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