Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mechanical problems at Markland

Will the mechanical problems at Ohio River locks and dams take a vacation anytime soon?

This Notice to Navigation Interests came out today:

Update to Navigation Notice 2016-034. Markland Dam Gate 9 continues to be out of service. Gates 5, 7, & 8 were in the process of a similar repair at the time and have been closed pending further testing. During this time, velocities through the dam during high water periods will be higher than typical for a given dam opening. Mariners are cautioned of the additional draw along the upstream approach of the 1200’ chamber. Use additional care when entering and leaving the upper 1200’ approach.

Corps officials and spokesmen have been saying for a while that machinery at the dams is nearing the end of its projected life. The dams were designed in the 1940s and 1950s, and some locks in the post-World II dams were put into operation in the late 1950s.

So, are these kinds of problems to be expected more as the machinery ages, and if so to what degree?

As editorial writers tend to say, it remains to be seen.

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