LOUISVILLE DISTRICT

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Posted 7/20/2011

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By Scot Dahms


The Army Corps of Engineers lake staff at J. Edward Roush Lake - along with the Indiana Department of Transportation - partnered to remove driftwood from in lake side of the tainter gates on the dam July 19. The team also conducted reseating operations of two monolith inspection access covers and repaired concrete around six other covers on the Indiana State Highway 5 Bridge over Roush Dam, Huntington, Ind.

This work was facilitated with the use of the INDOT flagging crew and the UB40 Bridge Inspection Truck.  The trucks are called “snooper” trucks by the INDOT staff.  This unique partnership allows both agencies to provide public safety while both cooperating to maintain their respective structures.

J. Edward Roush Lake is the only dam in the Louisville District of 20 lakes which has tainter gates with the unique situation of having a major state highway cross over a bridge above the dam. The challenging aspect of this operation is the comingling of both INDOT and Corps maintained structures. Although INDOT maintains the road surface, the Corps is responsible for maintaining the eight monolith inspection covers and the twelve grates which cover the emergency bulkhead slots. Both of these structures are part of the road surface. Whenever the Corps staff needs to conduct maintenance on these structures, the activity is coordinated with INDOT as flaggers are needed to shut down one lane of traffic over the bridge.

Besides being able to inspect the bridge with the trucks, INDOT certified operators are able to lower Corps of Engineers staff members on to the sill in front of the tainter gates. As part of the preventative maintenance program, the tainter gates are exercised every week.  Because of the slope of the sill towards the tainter gates, driftwood that accumulates on the sill could fall into the path of the gate, and it would not seat correctly when closed. The driftwood needs to be removed before the tainter gates can be exercised.  Because of the design of the Roush Dam, this is the only safe way to access the sill. The INDOT Bridge Inspection Truck allows access to the sills and provides an opportunity for the Corps to partner with an important stakeholder to meet public demand for safe structures.