Along the Hudson River in upstate New York, the Troy Lock and Dam in Troy, N.Y. serves as the eastern gateway to New York State's extensive canal system and integral to the viability of a system that consists of 524 miles of waterways and 56 locks.
The Army Corps has operated the lock and dam since its construction and involved making major and minor repairs to the lock and dam structures, electrical, mechanical and hydraulic systems, as well as performing routine maintenance and maintaining the building and grounds.
This ensures safe navigation of $6B worth of commerce annually.
Recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District completed maintenance work for the installation of four lock chamber miter gates.
The event was celebrated on May 24th, 2018 with a symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony held at the facility by Col. Thomas D. Asbery, the Corps’ New York District Commander along with elected officials.
At the event, Col. Asbery held the scissor and cut a long extended red ribbon with representatives from the offices of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Paul D. Tonko, Brian U. Stratton, director, New York State Canal Corporation, Tim Ricardson, project superintendent, D.A. Collins Construction Company, and members from the Corps’ Albany Field Office.
Following the installation of new gates, the waterway will continue to handle commercial shipping as the lock also supports a great deal of tour boats, yachts, and local and long distance recreational vessels. The economic impact from activities associated with the New York State Canal System is estimated to be approximately $380 million per year.
Perhaps the most visible sign of the canal's impact in addition to commercial shipping is the recreation segment as the season transitions into summer with the influx of motorboats, fishing vessels, canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards as they transit through the waterway.
New gates provide upgrades and important enhancements
“This stellar new upgrade to the 102 year old lock and dam is critical to vessels that use the lock,” said Asbery. “These new gates will allow commerce to continue to transit the Hudson River and allow recreation vessels to continue unimpeded during the busy boating season.”
He thanked the Field Office for performing its mission with efficiency and excellence.
Asbery credited Petronis for the improvements. He added, “Bill Petronis and the staff at the Troy Lock and Dam do yeoman’s work, without them the lock and dam system wouldn’t be able to keep the Hudson River open for business.”
The $5.1 million contract was awarded to D.A. Collins Construction Company, Gansevoort, N.Y., for the design and installation of the new lock miter gates, which began in 2015 and completed in April 2018.
During a 2012 Operational Condition Assessment of the Troy Lock and Dam there were structural cracks and deterioration discovered on the miter gates. The miter gates are the two doors on the north and south end of the lock and open to allow vessels to gain access.
The upstream miter gates were last replaced in the 1960’s, the downstream miter gates were replaced in the late 1970’s after being damaged from a barge collusion. Since that time, it’s been an approximate total of 50 years since the miter gates have been replaced.
Asbery spoke about the first three weeks of operation where there have been more than 200 lockages performed with over 400,000 tons of cargo passing through the lock.
“For comparison, in 2017, 2,627 lockages for 3,785 vessels and 391,760 tons of commercial cargo passed through the Tory Lock and Dam,” said Asbery. “We expect that number to continue to grow as the volume of commercial and recreational vessels using the river continues to increase.”
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the most important aspect of the Troy Lock & Dam and that would be its people. New York District employees have proudly devoted many years of their careers in maintaining the Troy Lock & Dam. They’ve made improvements to the structure and equipment and successfully developed strong relationships with partnering agencies and the public.”
Prior to the ribbon cutting, Asbery once again thanked the attendees for joining in the celebration of the completion of the project and milestone. The New York District looks forward to continuing to serve the nation and the region for years to come,” said Asbery.