“Dredging Technologies and Innovations” was the topic of the WEDA 2007 Midwest Chapter Meeting held Wednesday April 11 through Friday April 13 at the Marriott Courtyard in Louisville Kentucky.
The group attended the Louisville Bats baseball game after the ice breaker on Wednesday night and convened at 8:30 Thursday morning for opening comments by Lance Engle chapter president.
Thursday’s talks began with “U.S. Dredging: What’s Next” by Bill Hanson of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock. Hanson received the award for best presentation at the event.
Other presentations on Thursday were: “Innovative Removal Methods which Reduce Dredge Residuals in Environmental Dredging” by Mark Binsfeld J.F. Brennan Co. Inc.; “Lower Fox River Mega-Site Decision Tree for Managing Dredging Residuals” by Rich Weber Natural Resource Technologies; “Pipeline Silent Inspector” by Gary L. Howell P.S. ERDC Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory; and “Automatic Channel Dredging Contour Control” by Jay Wise Kruse Controls.
On Thursday afternoon the group toured the expansion project at McAlpine Lock and Dam on the Ohio River.
Led by David Klinstiver Louisville District construction manager for the project the group learned that the project is replacing a 600-foot auxiliary lock chamber in service since 1922 and an inactive 360 foot two-stage lock chamber built in the 1870s with a 1200-foot by 110-foot lock on the Kentucky bank side of the Portland Canal adjacent to the existing lock and dam. The finished project will provide twin 1200-foot locks for tow traffic on the Ohio River.
The work also includes replacing the existing swing and bascule bridges with a two-lane high-lift fixed span concrete bridge to provide continuous access to the National Wildlife Conservation Area on Shippingport Island and the Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) owned ydro-electric facility.
Construction cost is approximately $430 million in a cost-shared venture with the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The project is expected to be complete in January 2009.
After the tour Ray Bergeron of Cable Arm Inc. spoke on “Dredge Positioning Systems Using Acoustic Imaging” followed by Brian Mastin of Watersolve LLC speaking on “Geo-Tube Dewatering Containers in Environmental Dredging.”
At the business meeting the group elected new officers including Matt Binsfeld of J.F. Brennan president Steve Tapp of the Corps St. Paul District vice president and Tim Briggs of Compass Environmental secretary.
Friday presentations were: “Real-time Water Quality Monitoring During Dredging Projects” by Rob Webb of Dalton Olmsted & Fugelvand; “Sister Chute Environmental Dredging” by Lance Engle Corps of Engineers St. Louis District; and “Advantages of High Density Multi-Beam Sonar” by Al Rougeau of Reson Inc.
In a panel discussion on the Corps of Engineers dredging program Bill Graham of the Rock Island District reported that in the past two years no funds have been allocated for the Illinois Waterway where 500000 cubic yards of siltation needs to be removed.
Karl Schmitz of Rock Island reported that the Mississippi River waterway is seriously underfunded with 270000 cubic yards of dredging required and no dredging funds in the budget.
He described the problem with Asian carp imported to keep catfish farms on the Gulf Coast clean which have escaped into the Mississippi River. They have migrated as far as Burlington Iowa and are decimating the habitat. Growing to as large as 40 pounds they jump like dolphins and sometimes land in boats.
Steve Tapp of the St. Paul District Channel Maintenance office was unable to attend because of a winter storm but sent a PowerPoint presentation to Lance Engle who reported that the district must dredge 850000 cubic yards of shoal material per year. The Dredge Thompson now being used as a quarters barge after being replaced by the Dredge Goetz will be turned into a river museum moored at Winona Minnesota.
He announced that a three-year mechanical dredging contract will open in the fall of 2007. Engle also reported on the St. Louis District program. William Merte of the Detroit District presented a list of nine O&M contracts sched- uled for FY07 the largest in the Saginaw River Michigan (330000 cubic yards) and the smallest in Manitowoc Wisconsin (25000 cubic yards).
In his closing remarks Larry Patella executive director of the Western Dredging Association stated that the crisis in waterway funding is the most important concern. There has been no water bill for seven years and members must become pro-active and lobby for funds and for the passage of water legislation he said.
Corporate sponsors of the meeting were Dredge America Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corp. J.F. Brennan Co. Inc. and WaterSolve LLC.