The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District awarded a $58.6-million contract Aug. 15 to Joseph B. Fay Company of Tarentum, Pennsylvania, to continue critical work at the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 4, Charleroi, Pennsylvania.
“The contract award represents a major milestone in progressing the long-delayed Lower Monongahela River Project,” Col. Bernard Lindstrom, district commander, said.
Joseph B. Fay’s work will include constructing six new reinforced concrete monoliths that make up a portion of the middle wall. The new section is approximately 260 feet by 35 feet and is located downstream of the existing middle wall.
A crucial part of the estimated $2.7-billion Lower Monongahela River Project, the Charleroi facility passes approximately 12 million tons of cargo each year, providing annual benefits of approximately $100 million per year in the transport of bulk commodities. The new lock chambers will replace the current Depression Era-lock facility which has far exceeded its 50-year design life.
The Lower Mon Project replaced the nearly 100-year-old fixed-crest dam at Braddock Locks and Dam with a gated dam and will remove Locks and Dam 3 in Elizabeth after completing construction of a new larger lock at Locks and Dam 4 in Charleroi and dredging upstream of Locks and Dam 3. When complete, the project will yield an estimated $220 million in average annual benefits to the region and nation.
Barging bulk commodities such as coal on the area’s three rivers provides significant benefits to the region. It significantly reduces the wear and tear on roadways, causes considerably less pollution than other modes of transportation and reduces the cost of electricity due to transportation rate savings over truck and rail delivery of coal.
The district’s navigation structures not only provide reliable river commerce, but they create sustained pools that provide water supply for drinking, industrial use, firefighting and other uses. The sustained pools provided by navigation dams encourage riverfront and economic development within the region.
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 includes 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 to protect and enhance the nation’s water resources infrastructure and environment.
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