GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – On Feb. 28, a ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the completion of critical, time-sensitive repairs to Schlatterweiher Dam at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria. Located within the Grafenwoehr Training Area and impacting several ranges, construction teams raced against the clock to successfully complete the work on-time as to not disrupt the 7th Army Training Command’s training schedule and overall mission readiness.
USAG Bavaria’s Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Europe District, the State Construction Office Amberg-Sulzbach, the Muenichmeier-Eigner Engineering Company and the Gollwitzer Construction Company partnered to design, construct and reveal the repaired dam weir and emergency overflow – all within a four-month time constraint.
“This time schedule was very ambitious, and nothing was allowed to happen to endanger this plan,” said Andrea Hoesl, branch chief of DPW. “All work had to be completed between November and February, because pre-scheduled training on the affected ranges needed to resume on March 1.”
The Schlatterweiher Dam was originally built over a century ago. Throughout the decades, the dam received routine repairs to meet modern-day safety requirements. This specific dam repair project was split into two phases, and the first phase occurred in 2014.
Present day work totaled $2.3 million. The weir investment allows the military to control the water level of Schlatterweiher Lake, and the emergency overflow add-on helps GTA better prepare against future floods and withstand a 100-year rain event. Overall, this benefits the Soldiers who use the ranges, the ecology within GTA and Grafenwoehr City.
“This is a pretty important dam,” said USAG Bavaria Garrison Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck. “If it breaks, the water from Schlatterweiher Lake would go straight into downtown Grafenwoehr. I think it is very important that we protect that community from all of that water.”
Additionally, the Schlatterweiher Dam and its surrounding area have significant ecological value, because various habitats and red list species are impacted by this lake and its water level.
“Everyone can be happy and proud, because this project is now completely finished,” said Ulrich Lang, representative of State Construction Office Amberg-Sulzbach. “It was a very difficult and demanding, because it was completed in just four months during the winter.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, all team members were in agreement that this was a perfect example of how smooth projects can work out – if you have the right team in place.
“This was a great team all the way around,” said John Taylor, project engineer with USACE Europe District. “To be able to shut down the ranges and get this design in place, within such a short time period, it was a total team effort and great job.”
While the scope of this project was huge – from coordinating schedules with range control, managing funds for the project, working up design and construction contracts, providing engineering support and much more – Danbeck was grateful for everyone’s collaborative efforts.
“Excellent work and thanks,” he said. “I really appreciate everybody getting in there and making sure this project got done on-time, on-cost and at the level of expertise we’ve got!”
Editor’s Note: View extra photos from the event, here.