LOUISVILLE, KY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville Repair Station set the second of two 260 ton gate leaves at the downstream end of the Ohio River Markland navigation locks on Sept. 20. "People don't go around lifting that kind of weight every day," said Keith Browning, Louisville Repair Station, who directs the Henry M. Shreve gatelifter vessel, lock repairs and crew at the Markland Locks at Warsaw, Ky. (Upstream gates to be set end of September or beginning of October.*)
The day was windless, a prerequisite for a lift of this stunning magnitude. The gates were fabricated by Oregon Iron Works and floated through the Panama Canal, up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to arrive in the region. The repair fleet still needs to install the two remaining upper gate leaves.
The repair fleet has a crucial task to ensure the attachments which hold the gate in place at the top and bottom - anchor arm and ears, gudgeon pin and hood at the structure's top; and pintle ball and bushing, at the bottom - are precisely shimmed and leveled, according to Kevin Vessels, Louisville Repair Station. "There's just a hair's clearance between the gudgeon hood and the anchor arm, so we have to be exact (in the installation process)," he said.
The installation of the new gates will complete the Markland Major Rehabilitation project by the Army Corps of Engineers which began in 2009. The rehabilitated lock is scheduled to reopen Nov. 6. The gates cost $21.838 million.
Markland Project resources:
Youtube gate set video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH_sSoQ2fzE
Flicker photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisvilleusace