• Concrete Repairs
  • Upgrades on the Cleveland Dam Spillway

Cleveland Dam is a 91 m high concrete dam that sits atop Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver.   The dam was built in the early 1950’s and boasts an impressive spillway nearing 300 feet that holds back the 670 acre, man-made Capilano Lake, which supplies fresh drinking water to much of the Lower Mainland.   

In 2018, Metro Concrete Restoration successfully bid on a $3 million Metro Vancouver Project to repair and upgrade the dam structure; the scope of work includes concrete repairs on the Cleveland Dam Spillway and coating of the training walls.  

Work began in April 2018 and will be completed in October 2019 with a project cost of $3 million.

Before work on the project began, the team was on-site to assess the walls and make sure that any unsound or compromised concrete was removed.  The team also had to grout and fill individual cracks to ensure a good sub-straight for the various stages of work that was required.

Access to the dam and spillway is just one of many challenges that the team has had to overcome; by partnering with Pacific Ropes, a high angle rope access company, the Metro Concrete Restoration team can access areas on the lower portion of the spillway that are challenging to reach by crane.

Stages 1 and 2 included coating the walls of the spillway with a cementitious waterproofing material, both inside and outsides of the walls. To carry out this work, access was provided via a man-basket from a crane set up on the east side on the viewing platform, and on the dam bridge.

Stage 3, which will be completed in the summer of 2019, includes prepping and patching the larger holes in the spillway to provide a barrier from water accessing the interior of the structure along the construction joints.

Time is also an issue, as repair work on the dam is dependent on lake levels which change with weather and snowpack melt.  Some of the repairs have to be carried out when the spillway is uninhibited by water leakage and the goal is to complete this ‘dry’ work during the month of August when lake levels are naturally below the spillway level.

Environmental containment and ensuring that no contaminated water, debris, or construction material ends up in the fish bearing river below the dam is another major challenge and concern with this project.  TRI and Metro Testing + Engineering are assisting Metro Concrete Restoration with environmental monitoring to ensure compliance with the Metro Vancouver Environmental Management Plan.