Locks and Dams

Corps Awards $17 Million Tow Haulage Contract

The St. Paul Engineer District awarded a $17 million contract May 31 to Kraemer North America LLC, Burnsville, Minn., to rehab tow-haulage units at six Upper Mississippi River locks and dams.

The purpose of the tow haulage system is to assist and speed up the upstream travel of 1,200-foot tows through 600-foot lock chambers. The traveling mooring bitt systems, located on upper guidewalls to help guide upbound tows out of the lock chamber, promote efficient and safe passage for workers and long tows requiring multiple lockages, the district said.

Each system is comprised of an operating unit, rail and traveling kevel or “mule.”

The tow haulage systems have been deteriorating over the past several years, the district said.  Two recent failures at Lock 7 highlighted the need for a project to address serviceability and safety issues.  Although interim repairs at Lock 7 were completed in 2014, this project aims to permanently repair each lock’s tow haulage system.

Construction will take place at:

• Lock and Dam 4, Mile 752.8, near Alma, Wis.;

• Lock and Dam 5, Mile 738.1, near Minnesota City, Minn.;

• Lock and Dam 5A, Mile 728.5, near Fountain City, Wis.’

• Lock and Dam 7, Mile 702.5, near La Crescent, Minn.;

• Lock and Dam 8, Mile 679.2, near Genoa, Wis.; and

• Lock and Dam 9, Mile 647.9, near Eastman, Wis.

The Corps’ Inland Navigation Design Center provided guidance, and recommended rehabilitating the original design and incorporating a continuous rail.  The Corps designed the tow rail rehabilitation at Lock and Dam 6 in fiscal year 2018, and the Corps awarded a $1.3 million construction contract in fall 2018. The sites in the current contract require significant concrete removal and potential concerns for lead and asbestos abatement, the Corps said.

Construction will take place in winter 2019 and 2020, during the non-navigation season. The district will provide construction updates for individual locks as work progresses.

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