Aug. 02–INDUSTRY — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend $1.09 million to install a temporary repair to the “severely cracked and unstable” middle-lock wall at the Montgomery Locks and Dam, the agency announced Thursday.
Previous estimations stated that the middle wall, which separates the lock’s two chambers, has a 50 percent chance of complete structural failure by 2028 if left unaddressed. The temporary fix is being undertaken as an “interim measure” meant to slow the wall’s deterioration until a permanent fix can be performed.
The federal government recently approved the spending of $2.7 billion to fix locks and dams all along the Ohio River. That project is currently in the engineering and design phase, however, and actual repairs are still years away.
That’s why the $1.09 million temporary fix is being pursued at the Montgomery facility.
“This vital effort to reduce the risk of failure at Montgomery Locks and Dam will help ensure that we are providing safe and reliable navigation, which greatly contributes to the regional economy,” Col. Andrew J. Short of the Army Corps of Engineers said in a news release.
The temporary repairs could take up to a year and a half to complete, the agency warned, and lock closures and delays could arise as a result of the work. The repairs are slated to begin later this year.
The repairs are expected to buy the Army Corps and federal government more time before a permanent fix is implemented. The permanent fix calls for the construction of a new 110-foot-wide by 600-foot-long lock chamber at the Montgomery, Dashields and Emsworth facilities on the Ohio River.
The contract for the temporary repairs was awarded to C.J. Mahan Construction Co. of Columbus, Ohio.