Friday, December 16, 2016

New Cumberland to re-open tomorrow

This came from the Pittsburgh District late this afternoon.

PITTSBURGH -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh is set to resume navigation operations tomorrow starting at 8 a.m. at the New Cumberland Locks and Dam on the Ohio River.

The lock shutdown Dec. 12 after a hydraulic system failure.

Lockages will be performed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ...

Mariners should expect delays and are urged to use extreme caution when entering or exiting the lower end of the chamber to avoid damage to the miter gates or lock structure.

The Pittsburgh District has requested emergency funds to apply to a long-term repair. 

The closure stopped navigation on the Ohio River upstream and downstream of the lock, creating a backlog of commercial vessels awaiting passage. 

The lock staff determined that the hydraulic system that operates the main chamber's four 170-ton miter gates and the emptying and filling valves had failed. A repair crew capped and tested damaged hydraulic lines and will continue to monitor the situation. 

The Corps immediately deployed spill response measures to mitigate the spill upon its discovery and halted operations of the lock's hydraulic system. 

The spill was mostly contained in the 110-ft by 1,200-ft primary lock chamber though a small amount did enter the waterway. Crews placed on-site spill containment booms to absorb fluid that escaped from the chamber and to stop the spread of fluid.

The district dispatched civil and environmental experts to investigate the spill and reported the situation to the U.S. Coast Guard's National Response Center, navigation interests and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, which monitors water quality on the Ohio River. 

New Cumberland Locks and Dam is comprised of two lock chambers, an auxiliary and a main chamber. The Corps placed the 110-ft by 600-ft auxiliary lock chamber out of service approximately two years ago due to structural issues that prevent its safe operation.  ...

The Pittsburgh District’s 23 locks and dams on the upper Ohio, Monongahela and Allegheny rivers represent the oldest and largest network of navigation facilities in the Army Corps’ national inland marine transportation system.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review had a pretty good article about the shutdown and the story behind the story.