Olmsted Locks and Dam Project wins Euclid Chemical Prestigious National Engineering Award

The Euclid Chemical Company is a leading manufacturer of concrete and masonry construction products. The company recently announced that the Olmsted Locks and Dam project it served as a key supplier for received recognition 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. It does this by eliminating bottlenecks at two antiquated locks. In turn, the locks provide a connection to the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Annually, 90 million tons of commodities transit this section of the lower Ohio River. It brings an economic benefit estimated at $640 million.

Project details

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 the crew cast on shore and floated into place within 3/8- to 1/2-inch tolerance nearly 40 feet underwater using divers. They then filled the shells with concrete, locking them permanently to their steel piling foundations.

As part of this Olmsted Locks and Dam project, Euclid Chemical supplied $3.4 million of concrete admixtures and grouts. These items included 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. There was a requirement that it must maintain flowability for up to six hours. Additionally, it must not exceed 5% washout during placement.

The project was one of the largest civil works projects the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed since construction of the Panama Canal. It 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. Both the formal dedication and opening of The Olmsted Locks and Dam occurred in August 2018.

The OCEA Award ceremony was on March 13, 2020. The award during the Outstanding Projects and Leaders Gala in Washington, D.C. Additional information on the award program is available 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. The company is a leading manufacturer and supplier of both 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. You can learn more by also visiting www.euclidchemical.com.

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