New gates installed to Lock & Dam 11 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New gates installed to Lock & Dam 11

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

After nearly 80-years,  an eastern Iowa lock and dam is getting new gates.

Crews have been working on Lock and Dam No. 11 in Dubuque  to replace the aging system. 

"What you see behind you is the heavy lift crane, the Quad Cities, and that is our gate lifter and that is how we replace mitre gates on the Upper Mississippi River," said Matt Thurman, chief of the maintenance section for the Mississippi River Project.  

It's a big job for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They're replacing all four gates that were installed back in the 1930's when the lock and dam was built. 

There's a crew of about 25 people working get the first new gate in place, which weighs about 110 tons.

"Over the years, they've had a series of maintenance done to them, structural repairs and painting type repairs made to them. They've reached their useful life, almost eighty years."

This change is a key component to making sure the lock system is reliable for years to come.  "This is insuring that we have a reliable navigation system on the Upper Mississippi River, so it's definitely a good thing for Lock 11 and this area," Thurman added.

The project will be completed in three weeks. 

As for how this will affect barge traffic,  they will close for 36 hours around Tuesdays and Thursdays to get the replacements done. The final week, they will do last minute tweaks to make sure things are working correctly.

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