Concrete is a material most of us interact with daily. We drive and walk on it, and it is used in most of our homes or places of work. Without the invention of George W. Batholomew and his experiments with local limestone and clay, American concrete may not be what it is today.
The Birth of American Concrete
A recent ASCE article recognized the first American concrete pavement. George W. Bartholomew began experimenting with creating concrete in 1889. At the time, concrete was available in Europe but the same material in America did not match in quality. George began experimenting with different materials available in the United States such as limestone and clay to create a high quality American concrete product.
George was able to convince city officials to create the first concrete pavement in Bellefontaine, Ohio in 1891. Later he was able to pave an entire city block. This street is still in use today and has the title of oldest concrete street in America.
Concrete is not Cement
Though the terms concrete and cement are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same material. Cement is the base ingredient for concrete. By mixing cement with sand, stone, and other materials the result is a stronger material, concrete.
Using Concrete in Dam Design
The first uses of concrete were to pave roads then engineers began using the material in other ways such as in construction. Concrete is now used in multiple ways including in building foundations or for an entire structure. Concrete can also be used in dam design.
Dams are barriers created to control the flow of water. Most dams are made of earthen materials, but there are benefits to choosing to use concrete. There are very specific industrial standards in relation to dam design and safety. Concrete allows dams to be made at a steeper angle. This is beneficial when working to control water around a gorge, ravine, or other narrow space. Concrete can also be used to reinforce earthen structures. Concrete in dam rehabilitation, Dallas area, is a beneficial material choice because it is less dynamic than earthen alternatives and resulting structures can be built in smaller areas.
OEI Dam Rehabilitation – Dallas
Water resource management is one of OEI’s specialties. We’ve provided dam and levee services for over 30 years including dam rehabilitation. Dallas area dams are aging and need to be assessed for potential damage or failure points. OEI is headquartered in the Dallas area and works with many clients in the region.
Visit our dam and levee safety page to learn more about our experience and ability to provide safe and sustainable solutions to water resource challenges.