Locks and Dams 24 and 25 Miter Gate Anchorages

Winfield, Mo.

Excellence in Safety Award

OWNER: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - St. Louis District

LEAD DESIGN FIRM: US Army Corps of Engineers - St. Louis District

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Massman Construction Co.

Despite the need to complete unplanned emergency repairs while working in the Mississippi River during the winter months, the miter gate anchorages project was completed with zero recordable incidents and zero lost-time injuries. 

The main scope of the project focused on replacing existing anchorages. The project required installation of 114-ft-wide bulkheads across the lock chamber prior to miter gate removal. During the project, the team discovered extensive damage to an upstream bulkhead recess slot at Lock 25. Working under a compressed time frame, the team quickly developed a safe and effective plan to take on the unexpected scope.

Dams and Locks

Photos courtesy of Massman Construction

“We were able to figure out a new plan and act on our feet,” says Michael Massman, project manager. “We didn’t have the luxury of sitting around for a few months. The fact that we had no incidents on the project is a testament to the success of the program we have.”

The bulkhead recess emergency repairs required using cofferdams and working in confined spaces nearly 30 ft beneath the Mississippi’s surface. As part of that planning, the team reached out to its employees as well as subcontractors for safe solutions, Massman says. The strategy for crane rigging was ultimately based on suggestions from a crane operator. A diver offered ideas used to plan support boat staging.

Dams and Locks

Photos courtesy of Massman Construction

“The emergency aspect of this project highlights the success of a safety plan that’s based on crew member input,” Massman says. “It’s not just the project manager or the safety guy telling them what to do. The fact that [crew members] felt comfortable and obligated to speak up and offer a better approach proves it works.”