U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY TOMAS ROFKAHR
Workers perform maintenance on hydropower unit 5 at Ozark-Jeta Taylor Lock and Dam in Ozark, Arkansas.
OZARK-JETA TAYLOR’S SLANT-AXIS TURBINE REHAB BY TOMAS ROFK AHR, Lit tle Rock District
ams capable of producing hydroelectric power are one of the wonders of the engineering world. They are massive Civil Works projects requiring years of planning, years of building, and tens of thousands of hours of refinement, management, and upkeep. As one of the last dams built along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS), the Ozark-Jeta Taylor Lock and Dam located in Ozark, Arkansas, is one of the newer dams on the MKARNS. With construction starting in 1964, and with the final pieces of the power plant coming together as late as 1973, the dam is a youngster compared to
structures such as Norfork Dam in the White River Basin, which was born in the mid-1940s. Yet age is relative, and as the saying goes, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” While the concrete and steel foundation of the dam was as sound as ever, the same couldn’t be said of the five 20-megawatt slant-axis turbines that were included in the power plant’s construction. A unique design, and one seen in only three locations along the MKARNS, the slant-axis turbines are mounted at an angle or on a slope rather than the vertical position that is typical of most generating units. How the