The Euclid Chemical Company, a leading manufacturer of concrete and masonry construction products, announced that the Olmsted Locks and Dam project it served as a key supplier for was recognized as one of the top 10 outstanding engineering projects nationwide by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Presented annually, the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award honors a project that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and represents a significant contribution to the civil engineering field.
Located on the Ohio River near Olmsted, Illinois, the project was a critical piece of infrastructure in keeping America’s inland waterway system moving by eliminating bottlenecks at two antiquated locks and, in turn, providing a connection to the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Annually, 90 million tons of commodities transit this section of the lower Ohio River, bringing an economic benefit estimated at $640 million.
The Olmsted Locks and Dam was constructed of two 110-by-1,200-foot locks adjacent to the Illinois bank and a dam composed of five tainter gates, a 1,400-foot wicket dam and a fixed weir. In order to maintain waterway passage while minimizing impact to the barge industry, the project utilized an innovative in-the-wet construction method that involved constructing 43 concrete shells—each 4,000 to 4,500 tons—that were cast on shore and floated into place within 3/8- to 1/2-inch tolerance nearly 40 feet underwater using divers. The shells were then filled with concrete, locking them permanently to their steel piling foundations.
As part of this project, Euclid Chemical supplied $3.4 million of concrete admixtures and grouts, including the use of its Eucon AWA, Eucon 1037, Eucon MR, Eucon WR, Air Mix 200, Eucon MSA and Euco NS Grout products. A large portion of this specialty concrete mix was placed underwater, and was required to maintain flowability for up to six hours and not exceed 5% washout during placement.
One of the largest civil works projects completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since construction of the Panama Canal, the project took nearly 30 years, 45 million labor hours and $3 billion to complete. Initial phases of the project began in 1993, with construction kicking off in 2004. The Olmsted Locks and Dam was formally dedicated and opened in August 2018.
The OCEA Award ceremony was held on March 13 during the Outstanding Projects and Leaders Gala in Washington, D.C. Additional information on the award program can be found at www.asce.org.
About Euclid Chemical
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, The Euclid Chemical Company has served the global building market for more than a century as a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty products and technical support services for the concrete and masonry construction industry. Euclid Chemical’s expansive product line includes admixtures, fiber reinforcement, concrete repair products, flooring materials, decorative concrete systems and more. Learn more at www.euclidchemical.com.