Yesterday we completed our first of many dives assisting CJ Mahan with the demolition and removal of Lock and Dam Number 52 on the Ohio River.
The Ohio River’s system of lock and dams begins in Pittsburgh, PA at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers and ends at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers near Cairo, IL, where more commerce traverses than any other location on the entire U.S. inland waterways.
Lock and Dam Number 52, completed in 1929, is located about 1.5 miles downstream of Brookport, IL (near Ballard County, KY) at mile 939 below Pittsburgh. The locks are located on the Illinois bank of the river. Twenty-three miles downstream is Lock and Dam Number 53, approximately 11 miles upstream of Cairo, IL. These older locks are frequently congested, sometimes taking as long at 15 to 20 hours each to transit.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently completed the Olmsted Lock and Dam that will replace lock and dams Number 52 and Number 53. It was the largest Corps project since the Panama Canal. It consists of two 110-foot by 1,200-foot locks adjacent to the Illinois bank and a dam comprised of five tainter gates to control the amount of water that flows downstream, 140 wickets, and a fixed weir on the Kentucky bank.
With the Olmsted Lock and Dam now operational, demolition of Lock and Dam Number 52 is underway. For the next year and more, Marine Solutions will provide underwater construction services assisting CJ Mahan with the demolition of Lock and Dam 52. These services will include underwater inspections, sediment removal, timber pile removal, steel sheet pile removal, removal of wicket gates and beartrap gates, and multi-beam bathymetric surveys.