Smith Lake Reservoir and Dam

Expansion Increases Capacity, Safety

Stafford County, VA

Stafford County

$7 M

General Contractor

Schnabel Engineering

To borrow a line from the US Postal Service, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  This was a fitting mantra for the Branch Civil team during the expansion of the Smith Lake Reservoir and Aquia Dam in Stafford County, VA.

Despite working through the remnants of three hurricanes and heavy snowfall, this multi-seasonal project was successfully completed on time with innovations that not only enhanced the safety of area residents, but also saved money for the county.

Branch Civil served as the General Contractor for the project which raised the dam crest by 12 feet, replaced and upgraded the principal spillway and included the construction of a new primary pump station for treatment plant supply.

One of the most innovative techniques was the use of roller compacted concrete for slope protection and the prevention of overtopping.  This method provides earthen dams the same level of safety as conventional slump concrete, but costs considerably less.

Several environmental and public safety issues had to be taken into consideration during construction.  The reservoir provides drinking water to many of the county’s citizens, so it was crucial to maintain and uncontaminated and plentiful supply.  Erosion and sediment controls were also necessary, along with ensuring that the ecosystem was not impacted.

Here’s a quote we proudly feel sums up Branch Civil’s performance during this challenging project from Keith Dayton, the Capital Improvements Program Manager for the Stafford County Utilities Administration:

“The expansion of the dam at Smith Lake was confronted with more than the fair share of challenges, including record snowfalls and the remnants of three hurricanes.  The fact that the job was completed on time and within budget speaks volumes about the initiative and the “can do” attitude of this company.”

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