Lake Hume wall our own giant guard for times of extremes

From a distance, the newness is obvious. Close up, it is a mighty 50,000 tonne concrete buttress 110 metres long and 33 metres high on the Hume Dam’s southern bank.  The coffer dam that allowed the construction. Pictures: KYLIE ESLER and JOHN RUSSELL
From a distance, the newness is obvious. Close up, it is a mighty 50,000 tonne concrete buttress 110 metres long and 33 metres high on the Hume Dam’s southern bank. The coffer dam that allowed the construction. Pictures: KYLIE ESLER and JOHN RUSSELL
The coffer dam that allowed the construction.

The coffer dam that allowed the construction.

The completed wall.

The completed wall.

IT’S now a training wall to top all training walls — 50,000 tonnes of concrete added to the Hume Dam’s southern wall to hold back the torrent in times of extreme flooding.

The buttress completes the second stage of a three-stage works program to improve the dam’s ability to handle weather emergencies.

State Water project manager Mark Pearson said the buttress gave the wall and, in turn, the main embankment much greater strength.

He said dam operations and water releases had been unaffected by the building of the mighty 110-metre long, 33-metre high wall, achieved by building a coffer dam to create a dry work area below the spillway.

Mr Pearson said about 40 suppliers and sub-contractors had been involved with the project and local quarry material had been used.

Now attention is turning to the third stage — to further improve the ability of the dam to withstand extreme flooding.

A study has started to determine the scope of the works required.