Barge Bottleneck Uncorked

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 1, Pg. 38-41

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Construction of the replacement Lock & Dam 26, on Mississippi River at Alton, Ill. near St. Louis, is described. The $1 billion job, programmed to be built over the period 1979-91, is expected to solve two problems. It will relieve the worst barge-traffic bottleneck on the Upper Mississippi River, and eliminate threat of failure of the structures which in one place had moved up to 10 in. on their old timber-pile foundations. The article describes dewatering of the two huge cofferdams, used to permit dewatering stages one (the dam) and two (the larger of the two locks). Emergency flooding of the stage two cofferdam was necessary in October 1986, to eliminate threat of overtopping. Value engineering eliminated the need to dewater during construction a lock guidewall, saving $8 million. Expanding on that idea in designing the second, smaller lock, the Corps of Engineers and the consulting engineer are using value engineering in the hope of saving money but coming up with a structure with equal or greater serviceability.

Subject Headings: Locks | Dams | Mississippi River | Value engineering |

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