Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A few boats

Here are some boats I've been able to see the past few days.

The A.J. Cenac.

The Kyova coming out of the Big Sandy.

The T Luke Savage.

The T. Luke Savage and the Linda Reed.

The Linda Reed.

And the Neal Savage.

May there be more in the next few days.

Bruce Mansfield slated for closure

FirstEnergy announced today it wants to shut down the largest coal-fired power plant along the Ohio River and some units at another coal-fired plant along the river.

The plants in question are the Bruce Mansfield plant in Pennsylvania and the Sammis plant in Ohio. Details in the news release here.

I'll try to have more in the next few days.

Olmsted Locks and Dam, part 3 of ?

The big ribboncutting and dedication ceremony for the Olmsted Locks and Dam is tomorrow at 10 a.m. Central time, but the really cool stuff happens Friday.

This came out this morning from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Louisville District:




Olmsted Locks and Dam (Ohio River mile 964.6).

USACE will be closing the river chamber at 0800 CDT Friday 31 August 2018 to place the gates into miter. The land chamber will open to lock traffic throughout the day on Friday, 31 August 2018. At dusk on Friday, 31 August 2018 both chambers will be closed while project personnel progress raising the wicket dam. USACE anticipates the river closure to last until Monday, 3 September 2018. Once the river stabilizes the land chamber will be open to lock navigation traffic, and conditions will be monitored for the river chamber. USACE will monitor out draft conditions during the dam raising and may resume locking traffic on Saturday, 1 September 2018. Conditions will be actively monitored for excessive outdraft. Traffic movement will be coordinated with the ICE Committee.

So it appears that after the party is over, Olmsted goes into operation by beginning the process of raising its pool. If you figure the time it takes to raise all 1,400 wickets, the pool could be in place by mid-day or evening on Saturday.

Then the corps personnel who operate the locks will have to see what happens as boats try to use the locks with the wickets up and the five tainter gates controlling the river level. There’s a problem at Olmsted that you don’t have at the other locks on the Ohio because of a design feature. The lock guide walls float.

In this photo …

… you see the M/V Steve Golding going through the locks downbound last month. Olmsted has floating lock guide walls, with 5 feet above water and 11 feet below. Having floating lock guide walls next to the tainter gates has caused some problems for navigators. As Marty Hettel, vice president of government affairs for American Commercial Barge Line and chairman of the Inland Waterways Users Board, has said, there is a current that pulls boats away from the locks and toward the dam. He said the Corps is installing a curtain to eliminate or minimize the outdraft.

In any event, this coming weekend should give us the opportunity to see the Ohio River’s newest locks and dam in operation. There probably will be bugs. We’ll have to see what they are and whether they can be solved before the Corps’ goal of having Olmsted in full operation before the end of October.

More to come.