District recognizes employees in end of year awards ceremony

USACE - Louisville District
Published Oct. 26, 2021
Updated: Sept. 29, 2021

As the fiscal year concludes and a new year of projects and contracts awaits, it is important to look back and acknowledge the hard-working members of the USACE team. The challenges and adversities of the past year have not slowed down the USACE – Louisville District members in the slightest. 

Among those recognized as part of the district's end of year awards ceremony were two teams who won headquarters level awards for the efforts to revolutionized project delivery.

The McAlpine Locks and Dam Gate, North Chamber Gate Replacement team was recognized as the 2021 Project Delivery Team of the Year for Merit as part of the 2021 Program and Project Management Community of Practice Awards. 

The Project Delivery Team (PDT) successfully executed the Louisville District McAlpine Locks and Dam Gate Changeout Project, which consisted of replacing both miter gates, ahead of schedule and under budget. 

“The McAlpine Gate Replacement project was a tremendous challenge,” said Craig Moulton, Louisville District project manager. “But the team rose to the occasion to complete the work.” 

The PDT completed the project in a single, six-month closure, while managing several challenges including working through an ongoing global pandemic. The project was completed in 40% less closure time than originally scheduled and 27% under budget. Because of the PDT’s success, the project established a new standard that saved the operations and maintenance program millions of dollars and drastically reduced future impacts to navigation stakeholders. 

Likewise, the New Lock at the Soo – Lock Chamber BIM Modeling Team was recognized for their innovative approach in designing the new chamber in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan using virtual reality. The team, which is comprised of members from across the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, earned the 2021 Innovative of the Year Award for their unique approach.

 The Louisville District is playing a key role in the regional design effort and the virtual reality simulation has proved a useful tool for designers and users to collaborate. 

“The model allows us to elicit customer feedback,” said Gary Grunwald, USACE Louisville District civil engineer. “It allows us to see potential clashes so we can make necessary modifications now, saving both time and money.”

Col. Kimberly Peeples, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Commander, had the opportunity to try on the virtual reality headset and tour the mega-project during her visit to the Louisville District in August.

 “This is an incredible and talented team of teams that produced something very special with tangible mission results,” said Peeples upon the announcement of the award. “I had an opportunity to virtually ‘walk’ the new lock design. Truly incredible! We look forward to future opportunities to advance collaboration and design through technology and innovation – Together!”

The team will be formally recognized at the Innovation Summit in Vicksburg, Miss., at the end of October. 

To close out the fiscal year, USACE Louisville District Commander Col. Eric Crispino had this to say. “Congratulations to everyone who was selected for an award this year. Well done. Your performance reflects great credit to yourself and the district.”

Many others were recognized during the end of year ceremony, which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/NXjB0eRzpA0