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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has removed the remaining damaged gate leaf from the floor of a lock chamber at the Markland Locks and Dam near Warsaw.
The downstream lock gate on the 1,200-by-110 foot chamber failed during operation on Sunday, Sept. 27. Since that time one of the two gate leaves has been resting on the bottom of the lock chamber.
By the end of October, the salvage crew had successfully moved the sunken lock gate off the sill. The Corps installed bulkheads, drained the water from the lock chamber and started cleaning and inspecting the leaf. Lifting eyes were installed in preparation for yesterday’s lift.
The Corps’ Henry M. Shreve Gatelifter hoisted the gate horizontally and placed it on a nearby DeLong barge for inspection and potential repairs with the other gate leaf.
“The miter gate leaves are usually vertical when lifted,” Carol Labashosky, media spokesperson for the Corps of Engineers Louisville District, said. Tuesday’s operation is unique since the lift was “done with the leaf horizontal. It is being done this way to protect the leaf from any additional damage.”
According to Labashosky, wind conditions were “less of a concern with this lift” than when the first gate was lifted vertically last month.
After the Sept. 27 gate collapse, the other inoperable lock leaf was still affixed to the lock chamber and required stabilization, Labashosky said.
On Oct. 19, the Henry M. Shreve floating crane, of the Corps’ Louisville Station Repair fleet, lifted the damaged middle wall miter gate leaf out of the lower end of the main lock chamber and placed it on the DeLong barge for inspection.
The Markland gate repair is an ongoing process, according to Labashosky. The repair crew will navigate the DeLong barge to the Corps Repair Station’s home base on Shippingport Island in Louisville to complete the gate work.
Since the lock failure river tows and barges have been using Markland’s smaller auxiliary lock, which is 600 feet long and 110 feet wide. The locks are used to raise and lower chamber water levels to enable boats to navigate between the upper pool water level of 455 feet, and the 420-ft lower pool level.