Army Corps of Engineers Markland navigation lock gets new gates
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville Repair Station set the last of four 260 ton gate leaves at the upstream end of the Ohio River Markland navigation locks on November 4, 2011. "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.
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 had 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 - were 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which began in 2009. The gates cost $21.838 million.
Due to high water the remaining work on the pieces of the lock gates will be completed in the summer of 2012, when the chamber will permanently reopen.
To see a Youtube video of the gate lift go to http://www.youtube.com/louisvilleusace
revised 31 March 2012