Dam projects require an enormous amount of engineering expertise. Because site conditions vary considerably from one project to another, no two dams are ever alike. When the design of a dam includes unusual procedures, the complexity is compounded.

The design of the Braddock Dam on the Monongahela River was very unusual — it is the largest dam ever to have major portions of the structure constructed offsite and floated into place. The off-site construction reduced the interruptions to vital industrial traffic on the river, but introduced other challenges.

When the J.A. Jones/Traylor Brothers Joint Venture began the planning stages, Robert Kindermann, Project Superintendent, and Ivan Rotosky, Carpenter Foreman, talked to Form Tech Concrete Forms Branch Manager James Sweeney and Co-owner Mark Gordon to get some concrete forming suggestions. While Form Tech provided jobsite service and application instruction, Symons® by Dayton Superior provided concrete form design assistance. Together, a combination of Versiform for the straight walls and Steel-Ply culvert forms for intersecting details in the dam sections was recommended. It was also decided that the hollow core pier stem sides would utilize Versiform gangs, Steel-Ply details and Flex-Form for the upstream bullnose sections of the pier stems.
The dam was built in two segments, each measuring 333' long, 104'-6" wide, 59' high and weighing 22 million pounds. The base of the dam included a series of voids with grouting pipes that passed through a slab at the surface. This key element allowed the dam sections to float when the dry dock area was flooded. When the dams were moved into place, the air-filled voids were flooded with water to make the dams sink. Once in place, concrete was pumped in, displacing the water and creating the counterweight for the dam’s permanent installation.
Teamwork was the name of the game with this successful project. J.A. Jones/Traylor Brothers depended on Form Tech’s expertise, and they in turn relied on the professional support provided by Symons.

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Versiform® System

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