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Posted 11/28/2017

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By Richard Schutte
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District

A start-up meeting for the Upper Ohio Navigation Project was held at Montgomery Locks and Dam, Nov. 9.

The purpose of the meeting was for the coordination and implementation of the USACE geotechnical engineering subsurface drilling investigation and testing program for the design of the replacement of the existing locks.

The new lock chamber will be the same size as the original main chamber, 110-foot wide by 600-foot long, and will be constructed in the footprint of the original, auxiliary chamber.

The subsurface boring plan will consist of 74 borings at locations within the footprint of the proposed replacement locks. The borings will be completed to an average depth of 90 feet below the surface of the Ohio River bottom.  The total amount of drilling will exceed 7,000 feet, or approximately a distance of nearly 1.5 miles in total length. All borings will be completed on a tug and barge vessel with a drilling rig load on the barge to complete the borings. Soil and bedrock samples will be collected for geotechnical laboratory testing during drilling activities.

The drilling is expected to start February 2018 and continue for four months, with teams working two, 10-hour shifts daily.

The original main chamber will continue to operate during construction and then be retained and maintained.

Pittsburgh District employees including its Engineering Project Delivery Team members (geotechnical, civil site, contracting, hydrology and hydraulics), lock staff and Gannett Fleming, Inc. staff, the contractor secured to complete geotechnical drilling and test activities attended the meeting.

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