Locks and Dams

Markland Auxiliary Chamber Reopens After Two Years Of Repairs

Following two years of repairs, the auxiliary chamber at Markland Locks and Dam in Warsaw, Ky., has reopened to navigation traffic.

The chamber was originally closed due to an issue with the upper miter gate, according to the Louisville Engineer District.  While it was closed, all traffic passed through the primary chamber.

The Regional Heavy Capacity Repair Fleet worked from August to December on-site to repair the miter gates.

“In the auxiliary chamber, the cracked upper middle wall gate leaf pintle area needed to be welded, the upper concrete miter gate needed to be reformed, and the pintle stiffener plates needed to be replaced, if cracked,” Markland lockmaster Shawn Riley said. “In addition to specific emergency repairs, the auxiliary chamber upper gates received new anchor arms, contact blocks, pintle ball and bushings, J-seal and polymer steel on wall quoins.”

The issues were first discovered during annual diving inspections in August 2019. Preparation and field work began last summer after the project was approved.

One challenge crews overcame was October 21, when navigation traffic had to be halted in order to repair a hydraulic cylinder on the primary, 1,200-foot lock chamber. The closure lasted more than 48 hours and was the only time both chambers were out of service.

“That was the first time I can remember both chambers being shut down for reasons other than flooding,” said Allen Craigmyle, Markland Locks and Dam work leader.  Since the Heavy Capacity Fleet was already on site for the auxiliary chamber maintenance project, it was able to help with the main chamber issue to expedite repairs.

Following the auxiliary chamber repairs, the primary chamber closed again December 4 for four days, to allow the Heavy Capacity Repair Fleet to complete hydraulic system repairs that caused the previous lock closure.
Following completion of hydraulic system repairs and reopening of the primary chamber, the auxiliary chamber was closed again through December 16 to facilitate demobilization of the Heavy Capacity Fleet.