International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

The St. Paul District Corps of Engineers selected its Maintenance and Repair Section based in Fountain City Wisconsin for its Safe Employee of the Year award.

The Maintenance and Repair Section handles all St. Paul District hired labor construction activities — work that is extremely dangerous. The unit works with cranes boats barges bulldozers torches saws and winches generally over swift cold and dangerous water. This past year the crew completed 31 separate projects including a major lock chamber dewatering project with no serious accidents.

The large dewatering project was located at Lock and Dam 3 in Red Wing Minnesota. All work had to be scheduled within a four-month winter window to prevent impact to normal commercial river navigation. Temperatures dropped to 25 degrees below zero with wind chills exceeding 50 below zero. The work required more than double the normal staff. The complex effort was finished on time within budget and most notably had zero accidents.

“This is a major achievement considering the safety risks inherent in this type of heavy construction” said Jeff Pfannes the district’s safety manager. “Through their actions oversight and concern for co-worker’s lives the entire maintenance and repair crew deserved this employee recognition for an excellent safety record.”

The St. Paul District works in the areas of environmental enhancement navigation flood damage reduction water and wetlands regulation recreation sites and disaster response. It contributes approximately $126 million to the five-state district economy. The more than 625 employees work at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states.