Howard Hanson Dam Engineering History

SUMMARY: The probability of the Green River Valley levee system overtopping without Howard Hanson Dam is one in two. With the dam that probability is reduced to one in 140. Since its construction the nearly annual flooding that plagued the Green River Valley has not recurred. The engineering design of the earth embankment portion of the dam is presented in sequential detail, and the construction order of the dam’s components are discussed.

BIO: Richard E Smith is an engineering geologist with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Washington and a Master’s in Geology from Texas A&M University. He has 26 years of experience working on diverse aspects of geological engineering including drilling and exploration, materials testing, rock slope reinforcement, instrumentation, dewatering, excavation and blasting, environmental remediation, and inspection and risk assessment of dams. His experience covers all project lifecycle phases including planning, design, construction, and long term operation. Since 2012, he has served as the Dam Safety Program Manager for the Seattle District of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

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