Protecting the Citizens of Henry and Franklin Counties and the Roanoke Valley

Building for Protection of Our Nation’s Infrastructure

Landslide Mitigation Slope Stabilization, Philpott Dam's Logo

On 22 May 2020, Philpott Lake overflowed its spillway due to heavy rainfalls over the Philpott Lake watershed causing the pool of the lake to top its crest elevation for the first time in history. As a result, on 24 May 2020, this triggered a significant landslide adjacent to and downstream of Philpott Dam causing damage to the powerhouse and other infrastructure.

Philpott Dam is located among the rugged foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Southwest Virginia. The dam was originally constructed between 1948 and 1952 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) to provide flood control in the Roanoke Valley and to generate electricity. Spanning 3,000 acres, Philpott Lake is surrounded by lands managed by the USACE, the Department of Wildlife Resources, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The top elevation of Philpott Dam is 1,016 feet and the dam has an overall length of 920 feet. The maximum height of the dam above the Smith River is 220 feet and the spillway has a crest elevation of 985 feet and a total length of 120 feet. The powerhouse below the dam has two vertical shaft Francis turbines rated at 6,700 kW each and a smaller unit rated at 600 kW. Electricity from the dam is marketed by the Southeastern Power Administration.

Project Details

Although the facilities at Philpott Dam have been cleared of any debris, and dam operations continue, the stability of the slope remains a concern. David Boland, Inc. (“Boland”) will provide slope stability remediation to reduce the risk of personnel injury and damage to infrastructure resulting from landslide activity at the Philpott Dam site.

On 28 September 2023, the USACE awarded Boland the contract for the Landslide Mitigation Slope Stabilization project at Philpott Dam in Henry County, Virginia. The work consists of construction of a secant pile retaining wall to stabilize the upper access road during the stripping and grading of the overburden, controlled stripping, removal, and regrading of the overburden to reduce the potential of slope failure in that area; temporary pre-cast concrete T-walls, draped mesh installation, and catchment fence erection to protect existing structures; construction of a stormwater detention vault to limit the increased runoff in the project area; installation of new stormwater pipes and structures to handle the increased runoff; ditch maintenance and cleanout to control and direct stormwater runoff; replacement of an existing stormwater drop inlet, culvert, and headwall to facilitate drainage; and construction of a switchgear building to house the switchgear equipment.

    US Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District
  • Contract Value
    MBF Architects, P.A.
  • SIZE
    Approximately five acres