The Monte Grande Dam, in the southwestern province of Barahona in the Dominican Republic, is an important infrastructure project for the country. In addition to controlling water levels in the Yaque del Sur River, the 55 m tall dam will also be used for flood protection and generation of hydroelectric energy. Other aspects include tourism and the use of dammed water for irrigation of agricultural land.
BAUER Fundaciones Dominicana S.R.L., the Dominican subsidiary of BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH, was commissioned to build a cut-off wall to seal off the dam base. Works started in May 2019 and were successfully completed in May 2020. In total, Bauer constructed around 26,000 m2 of cut-off wall over a length of 1,350 m, down to an average depth of 23 m and with a thickness of 800 mm underneath the dam base. Bauer Dominicana used a BAUER MC 96 duty-cycle crane with a BAUER BC 40 cutter as well as a BE 500 separation plant from BAUER MAT Slurry Handling Systems for the construction. Worth noting: This project was the first time that a trench cutter had ever been used in the Dominican Republic, and it was also the first time that Bauer Dominicana has been part of a dam construction project.
A particularly challenging aspect was the extremely variable working height, which ranged between 152 m and 197 m above sea level over the length of the dam. “To cope with this height difference, 17 different work platforms were created from which the cut-off wall was constructed using a cutter,” explained Bruno Luz, Project Manager at BAUER Fundaciones Dominicana S.R.L. In total, 71 Bauer employees participated in the project, contributing their expertise and experience gained from projects in the Dominican Republic and internationally. “We are very proud of our contribution to an infrastructure project that is so important to the region,” says Bruno Luz in conclusion. “As well as this, we were also able to gain experience in the construction of cut-off walls using a cutter.”