Pella Chronicle

December 17, 2012

Ask the Corps


The Chronicle

Pella — In a September 2011 “Ask the Corps” article, I mentioned that the Red Rock Dam would receive a new bulkhead for the tainter (large flood) gates.  The bulkhead has now arrived at the lake, and the road closure is necessary for its installation.

The bulkhead is essentially a moveable door that can be used to block water from flowing through a tainter gate when maintenance is needed.  The bulkhead will rest on a platform along the south side of the dam (lake side) when not in use.  If repairs or other maintenance work needs to be done on a tainter gate, the bulkhead will travel along a rail system and be positioned in front of it - a crane system and transport rail will also be added to the dam’s structure for this purpose.  

The bulkhead measures 66 feet wide, 25 feet tall, 3.5 feet thick, and weighs 75 tons.   It arrived in two separate pieces on oversized loads from the subcontractor’s manufacturing facility in Lackawanna, New York.  Once on-site (at the South Overlook Recreation Area), contractors bolted and welded the two pieces together.  It was then transported in one piece onto the dam for installation.

Once the project is completed, the new bulkhead will allow the Corps to perform maintenance on the tainter gates without a need to lower the lake.

The road closure is expected to last about two weeks.  The Corps of Engineers apologizes for the inconvenience.  

For more information, contact the Corps office at (641) 828-7522 or (641) 628-8690.