US Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District

Fort Campbell engineers receive Nashville District overview and tour Kentucky Lock Addition Project
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District
Dec. 4, 2019 | 3:08
GRAND RIVERS, Ky., (Dec. 05, 2019) –U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander Lt. Col. Sonny Avichal welcomed Maj. Gen. (ret) Bryan Watson and Army Combat engineers from Fort Campbell’s 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, for an overview and tour of the Kentucky Lock Addition Project.

“We are glad you are here,” said Avichal. “This is a great opportunity for you to see a different part of the regiment that you don’t normally see as combat engineers.”

The group visited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District to learn more about USACE “civilian missions” as part of their professional development.

Combat engineers from the Fort Campbell’s 326th Engineer Battalion, are adept at mine-clearing, demolition, and construction projects in a combat environment.

Avichal said the combat engineers are great technical engineers and smart scientists but providing a tour like this helps them visualize and understand how they can be a part of the USACE if they choose in the future.

Avichal gave the group an extensive overview of the USACE mission and Nashville’s role as a district, which include flood risk management, navigation, hydropower, emergency management, and recreation.

Resident Engineer Jeremiah Manning explained about the current concrete shell placement, construction and even explained engineering issues. The new lock 1,200-foot by 110-foot lock will be located landward of the existing 110 x 600 lock and will accommodate modern barge tows without having to break the tows.

"Right now it can be a long wait sometimes,” said Manning. “But the new Kentucky Lock is going to help solve extensive wait problems and help this inland waterway be a more efficient system.

Manning said currently the lock’s current size requires a double lockage, which results in tow breaking apart. He said the new lock will reduce delays and allow for a tow to make one pass.

Manning led the group to the new partially constructed Kentucky Lock Addition and provided them with details on the construction of the new lock as a tow barge locked through.

They walked along the new concrete lock walls, trekked across the massive Mitre gate, stepped down hundreds of scaffolds steps on the construction site, and into the depths of the partially constructed lock. They descended into the water intakes, which are giant 150-foot wide by 25-foot high tunnelways that will make it possible to fill the lock with 60 million gallons of water in 17 minutes.

“This is engineering at its finest,” said Maj. Jarrell Horsely from the 326th Engineer Battalion. “We don’t see massive projects being built every day.”

More than 25 Fort Campbell company and field grade officers interacted with civilian engineers and asked questions and learned from the unique challenges of maintaining aging infrastructure and about the mission of the Nashville District.

“It has been a mission of mine to bring a group back for training,” said Burkhart. “This has been an excellent opportunity for our young officers to learn more about

USACE missions and possibilities to consider in future career assignments.

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