PITTSBURGH – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District announces the award of a more than $12.9-million contract for the installation of two new dam lift gates and a new control system at Montgomery Locks and Dam on the Ohio River in Monaca, Pennsylvania.
The contract award is the continuation of three previous gate replacement contracts. The completion of this contract work will mean all 10 gate systems at the dam will be upgraded.
“This contract is necessary for the continued reliable performance of the dam gates,” said David Heidish, project manager, Pittsburgh District. “The loss of any of the gates could have resulted in the loss of the pool and could have possibly stopped commercial traffic, which would have negative effects on the region and the nation’s economy.”
The failure of the dam gates carries a low risk of loss of human life.
Joseph B. Fay Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will execute the work, which includes removal of existing dam lift gates 9 and 10 and associated components. The contract also includes pier 9, 10 and 11 machinery housing modifications, track and sill modifications, and miscellaneous pier concrete repair. Additionally, the contract includes the installation of new gate-control and camera systems.
John Anderson, a district operations specialist for the Ohio River, said the installation of the new gate-control and camera systems are an intricate part of the upgrade.
“The existing gate control system is obsolete and a maintenance nightmare,” said Anderson. “The new system is going to be more reliable and easier to maintain.”
The existing controls were installed in the 1980s and would eliminate the need for manual operation of the lift gates. The new camera system will increase the safety of both lock operators and river users.
“The new camera system will give dam operators better visibility of the gates and the surrounding areas,” said Anderson. “Being able to see what’s happening around the dam prior to operating the lift gates is an important aspect of operating the dam safely.”
The installation work of the new gates is scheduled to begin in spring 2021 with completion expected in early 2023.
The Montgomery Dam was built in 1934. Its gates were originally designed to meet the 1934 design standard.
The 2006 condition inspection of the dam revealed that there were significant deterioration problems with the fracture critical structural members and riveted connections of the vertical lift gates.
In October 2006, a downward bound tow barge struck the upstream guide wall. Three barges separated from the tow and were drawn into gates 4 and 8 of the Montgomery Dam.
Both gates were destroyed by the impacts. In 2008, gates 4 and 8 were replaced with new, state-of-the-art designed-lift gates.
Gates 5, 6 and 7 were replaced with a construction contract awarded in 2015. Gate 3 was replaced in 2019, Gate 2 was replaced earlier in 2020 and a contractor is currently working on the replacement of Gate 1.
For more information on the upper Ohio River project, visit www.lrp.usace.army.mil.
Media can contact the Public Affairs office at CELRP-PA@usace.army.mil.
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