SPRING CITY, Tenn., (Jan. 31, 2013) – Precast concrete sections for 42 lock approach wall beams destined for the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project were recently delivered by barge to Watts Bar where they will be assembled.
A total of 126 precast concrete sections fabricated in Melbourne, Ky., made their way in mid January on the Ohio River and up the Tennessee River. The sections will form each wall beam weighing 300 tons and altogether the heavy delivery weighs 12,600 tons.
“This is an excellent example of the value of our navigable inland waterways in transporting heavy, bulky cargo,” said Jamie G. James, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District project manager.
Assembled, the 300-ton, 10-by-10-foot beams are in two lengths: approximately 95 feet and 113 feet, with three sections joined together with steel cables post-tensioned to 441-tons pressure, according to Michael Arles, quality assurance representative.
Groundbreaking for the Chickamauga Lock Replacement project was in 2005 and a $16 million road and bridge relocation contract was completed in 2007.
Previous contracts are substantially complete for the construction of the Chickamauga Cofferdam and for miter gates, culvert valves and culvert bulk heads, which were fabricated in Birmingham and now stored at Muscle Shoals, Ala.
“When assembly of the approach wall beams is complete, they will be stored at Watts Bar and the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project will be placed in a mothball status until funding becomes available to continue construction,” said Jason L. Foust, project engineer.
The next contract will begin construction of a new 110-by-600-foot lock to replace the 70-plus-year-old 60-by-360-foot lock that has a concrete aggregate problem that creates structural concerns and will require closing the lock at some point.
It is estimated the project could be completed in five years with full funding, but it is not in the fiscal 2013 budget, according to James.
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