KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL)- The Boone Dam repair project is now in its second phase, according to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
TVA said it has moved from the planning phase to the design phase of the project, and will enter in to the construction phase after the Tennessee Valley Authority Board gives its approval.
But we found out Thursday, the plan to repair the dam will not go before the board next month as was originally planned. A TVA spokesperson said it will likely be voted on in May.
“We’re doing the planning and the designing now but once we get our contractor of choice we’ll go to the board for final approval,” Sam Vinson, TVA’s project manager for the Boone Dam remediation project said.
TVA confirmed the decision has been made to do more exploratory drilling at the dam so board members will have a complete package of information.
In late 2014, TVA discovered water seeping under the earth-filled portion of Boone Dam. TVA said if it were to go unchecked it could lead to a failure of Boone Dam, so the lake was quickly lowered.
A TVA spokesman told us the delay in board approval will not delay the project which is still set to take five to seven years to complete.
“Everything that we are working on is to be as close to the front of that window or earlier as we can,” Vinson said. “If it is the five years we want to do it once and do it correct and not short cut anything so we wouldn’t be back in 10 years.”
The repair will cost as much as $300 million.
TVA plans to drill down and put cement in to the ground to stop the seepage.
Vinson said starting Monday, crews will be doing exploratory drilling 24 hours a day.
A TVA spokesperson also said Thursday that 100 boats are still stuck on docks along the lake. TVA said it is looking to see what can be done about those boats.
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