The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District is announcing Emsworth Lock and Dam, located on the Ohio River at mile 6.2, will initiate a closure of the primary lock chamber for scheduled repairs.
The corps’ repair fleet will be dewatering the 110-by-600-foot primary lock chamber to perform maintenance activities on the downstream lock gate anchorages and the testing of the new bulkhead closure system. The 56-by-360-foot auxiliary chamber will remain open to navigation, except for intermittent closures of 16 hours or less during the first three weeks and final week of the project.
“We have methodically planned the upcoming dewatering of Emsworth Lock for almost two years," said Col. Andrew Short, district commander. "Every detail of the dewatering operation, the main chamber repair, and the use of the auxiliary lock chamber has been designed and worked on by our team of engineering professionals. We are focused on safe and efficient operations at Emsworth for both the repair party and commercial and recreational river users.
Intermittent closures are needed to support the work in the lock chambers and ensure vital navigation continues.”
The lock chamber closure is expected to start Monday, Aug. 31 at 6 a.m. and will remain closed until Friday, Nov. 13 at 11:59 p.m.
“Dewatering is required in the main chamber to repair both the upstream and downstream miter gate anchorages,” said David Heidish, district navigation project manager for Operations and Maintenance. “The miter gate anchorages are severely deteriorated and experiencing excessive movement during operation. Dewatering also provides the opportunity to test the new bulkhead closure structure and ensure it performs as intended.”
The last time Emsworth was dewatered for repairs was in 2010.
“These much-needed maintenance improvements will help facilitate navigation along the Ohio River in the years to come,” said Col. Short. “As always, we are committed to providing reliable lock operations throughout the Upper Ohio River Valley."
Information concerning Emsworth lockages and queues for commercial watercraft will be broadcast by radio on Channel 13. Any towboat not answering a call from the locks will be dropped to the end of the waiting list.
For the complete navigation notice including details of locking procedures, visit: https://ntninotices.usace.army.mil/lpwb/download.file?in_control_nbr=12191&in_file_id=1
Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include portions of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland and southwestern New York. Our jurisdiction covers more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 23 navigation locks and dams, 16 multi-purpose flood-control reservoirs, 42 local flood-protection projects, and other projects designed to protect and enhance the nation’s water resources, infrastructure and the environment.
The district’s additional missions include water supply, emergency response, and regulation of the Clean Water Act. The Corps often partners with local communities to improve water supply, sanitary sewer and stormwater infrastructure. During disasters, the district manages the nation’s emergency power contract, which provides temporary power to downed critical infrastructure. District personnel deploy overseas to help build, manage and administer water resource infrastructure projects.
For media inquiries, contact the Public Affairs Office at 412-395-7500 or email CELRP-PA@usace.army.mil.
For more information about the district, visit: www.lrp.usace.army.mil.
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