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Math Error May Be Cause For $60M Wanapum Dam Crack

Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press
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(Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The preliminary results of what caused a big crack in Wanapum Dam point to a mathematical error during design of the structure more than 50 years ago.

That’s according to the Grant County Public Utility District on Tuesday.

The crack formed across a spillway of the huge dam, and may have been exacerbated by a weak construction joint.

The preliminary findings will be submitted to the utility’s Board of Consultants for final review.

The utility says a team of engineers discovered the mathematical error while examining the original design calculations of the Wanapum Dam spillway. When they recalculated the design formulas, they found that additional concrete and/or reinforced steel should have been used in the construction.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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