USACE successfully completes gate rehab project at John T. Myers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District
Published Nov. 9, 2023
Updated: Nov. 9, 2023
John T. Myers Locks and Dam

The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division’s Regional Rivers Repair Fleet work to rehab the miter gates in the 1,200-foot lock chamber at John T. Myers Locks and Dam on the Ohio River, Sept. 12, 2023.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District, in partnership with The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division’s Regional Rivers Repair Fleet, also known as R3F, recently completed rehabbing the miter gates in the 1,200-foot lock chamber at John T. Myers Locks and Dam on the Ohio River in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. The lock chamber officially reopened to navigation traffic Nov. 9, 2023.

 

The main chamber closed in mid-August as part of the miter gate rehabilitation project. The temporary closure allowed the R3F’s heavy capacity fleet to rehab the miter gates and related equipment on each end of the chamber to increase reliability and efficiency on the inland waterways system.


“This concluded 81 days of effort from the Louisville District and R3F and greatly reduces Ohio River System reliability risk,” said Waylon Humphrey, Louisville District Operations Division chief. “The project didn’t come without challenges, but the team was adaptable and persevered, working multiple weeks of two, 12-hour shifts to minimize delays.” 
The $13.3 million project was completed in just under 12 weeks, a full six weeks ahead of the original 18-week estimate.


“I want to recognize our team who continues to push for positive change, especially our Project Engineer Travis McKim, who has been onsite throughout and was instrumental to this success,” Humphrey added.  


The project included rehabilitating all four miter gate leaves in the primary chamber; replacing anchor arms, seals, pintle balls, bushings, and all new casting bolts contact blocks, five floating mooring bitt tracks in the primary chamber and dewatering and inspecting the auxiliary chamber.


“During the 2020 dewatering and multiple dive inspections, we found that the pintle casting nuts/bolts were in bad condition,” McKim said. “The condition of these, along with the gates not being rehabbed since 2001 (lower end) and 2003 (upper end), led us to perform the miter gate rehabs.”


The team intends to take lessons learned from this project and apply them to the plan for Smithland Locks and Dam’s dewatering project tentatively scheduled for 2024. 


“It is a similar scoped project with a reduced schedule, so I’m hoping that we can optimize what we learned at J.T. Myers to make it successful at Smithland as well,” McKim said. 

McKim said he feels relief and is very proud that the project is successfully complete. 


“With it being my first dewatering, I was nervous and stressed to say the least. After watching the first vessel lock through, I felt a major sense of accomplishment that will be hard to match,” McKim added. “The project was a huge accomplishment for the whole team, and a step in the right direction for the maintenance program.”