American Society of Civil Engineers

Inflatable Crest Gates at Mississippi River Lock and Dam 1

by George Waldow, M.ASCE, (Vice President and Sr. Project Manager, HDR Engineering, 6190 Golden Hills Dr., Minneapolis, MN 55416) and Brad Bystrom, (Engineering Supervisor, Twin Cities Assembly Plant, Ford Motor Company, 966 South Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55116)
Section: Ice, Icing, and Water Control, pp. 828-837, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Cold Regions Engineering: Cold Regions Impacts on Transportation and Infrastructure
Abstract: Frigid winters, severe ice conditions, and dramatic spring floods exact a yearly toll on dams and hydraulic infrastructure. Inflatable gates or "rubber dams" are a non-rigid water control alternative that can provide significant benefits in cold regions. This relatively recent technology can be successfully employed at both new and existing water retaining structures. Inflatable crest gates were installed to replace traditional flashboards at a Mississippi River power and navigation dam. This paper discusses the motivations for improved crest gate technology, economic justification for inflatable gates, installation procedures, and system performance to date.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Mississippi River