Fall 2014

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US Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, Vol.5, Issue 3, Fall 2014

Soil testing precedes East Branch Dam repairs see page 10

Headwaters Update is a quarterly publication of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District. It is produced for electronic distribution by the Public Affairs Office. Views and opinions expressed in the Headwaters Update are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Submissions may be sent to CELRP-PA@usace.army. mil for consideration in upcoming editions. Stories submitted should be in a Word document format. All photographs should include a caption and be high resolution (at least 4x6 inches and 300 dpi). US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Col. Bernard R. Lindstrom District Commander Public Affairs Chief Jeff Hawk Editor Carol Davis Layout & Design Dan Jones Public Affairs Office 412-395-7500 www.lrp.usace.army.mil

On the Cover Corps employees test the soil at East Branch Dam in preparation of the upcoming cutoff wall work.


Sean McCann, ACE-IT Project Manager Steve Fritz briefs Brig. Gen. Kaiser during his visit to Charleroi Locks and Dam.

Division Commander visits Pittsburgh sites By Carol E. Davis, PAO The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Richard Kaiser visited the Pittsburgh District Oct. 15 16 for an orientation tour. Kaiser took command of the division Sept. 26. “The purpose of his visit was to give him an understanding of our mission and people,” Col. Bernard Lindstrom, district commander, said. “It was important for him to see what we do to support the region and the nation.” While at the district, Kaiser received a regional overview of the district’s key projects including the Upper Ohio Navigation Study and Shallow Land Disposal Area, and visited Charleroi Locks and Dam which is part of the district’s Monongahela River Locks and Dam 2, 3, and 4 Project (Lower Mon).

In this Issue

During his visit to Charleroi, he toured the locks and received a bird’s-eye view of the facility from atop the dam’s service bridge. Additionally, he used his visit to present awards and commander’s coins to a few district members. Lindstrom said the overall visit was a positive first engagement. He added his only regret was that he couldn’t take Kaiser to see other projects and meet more people. Charleroi Locks and Dam is one of nine navigation structures which provide year-round navigation on the Monongahela River between Pittsburgh, Pa., and Fairmont, W.Va. It maintains a pool for 19.7 miles upstream to Maxwell Lock and Dam just south of Brownsville, Pa., and is one of the highest priority projects in the National Inland Waterways System.

Page 4 - American Bald Eagle returns to Stonewall Jackson Lake Page 9 - Mahoning lends expertise to hydropower development Page 17 - What Lies Beneath? Morgantown L/D reveals damage Page 19 - District employees tackle triathalon at Conemaugh Lake

FEB visits Flight 93 Memorial Corps employees share insights and stories during tour

By Sara Woida, Engineering Branch Three members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District and members of the Federal Executive Board toured the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania during an FEB meeting, Sept. 30 The day began with program updates from the FEB representatives, including a presentation on the 2014 Combined Federal Campaign. The FEB group was then given a guided tour of the memorial and a behind-the-scenes look at various challenges the National Park Service faced in site acquisition, development, and ongoing maintenance. During the tour, Jared Pritts, a regulatory specialist; Sara Woida, a hydraulic engineer; and John Pontus, a civil engineer had the opportunity to reflect and share stories about the permitting and constructing process for the first phase of the memorial with other federal

John Pontus, Engineering Branch (Above) FEB group at the Memorial Plaza; the Flight Path Walkway and marble Wall of Names are to the right. (Below) From left to right, Jared Pritts, John Pontus, and Sara Woida gather at the gated entrance to the Sacred Ground.

employees from Western Pennsylvania. The district’s Regulatory Branch completed wetland delineations and Section 404 permitting prior to the start of construction. The Engineering and Construction Branch provided construction management services and water quality sampling throughout the first phase of construction. The district’s

John Pontus, Engineering Branch

efforts helped ensure that the National Park Service achieved their goal of opening the memorial on September 11, 2011. Although the district is not involved in current construction, it includes a visitor’s center, learning center, and a wetland bridge, and is expected to be complete by Sept. 11, 2015.

Courtesy of the Federal Executive Board


American icon returns to Stonewall By Christina Fox, Stonewall Jackson Lake

Stonewall Jackson Lake in Weston, West Virginia a is proud source of sustainable living for the American bald eagle. The first documented bald eagle nest in West Virginia appeared in 1981. By 2001, there were 11 reported nests which produced 21 offspring. A year later, there was another nest and a number of non-breeding sites. Bald eagles traditionally breed in regions of North America south of the Arctic Circle. Their natural habitat is areas surrounding and including large streams and lakes. Bald eagles generally migrate in a north-to-south line of travel along these habitats. They are rarely found away from their habitats unless it is during their migration, and prefer to winter within ice-free interior or coastal bodies of water. Their primary diet consists of fish, but can also include other birds, small mammals, and even carrion. Bald eagles are opportunistic predators that will take

The habitat requirements for bald eagles consist of areas surrounding and including large streams and lakes.

advantage of other predators’ kills, sometimes stealing a meal directly. Unfortunately, the bald eagle has not always had a safe existence. In response to a rapid decline in population the ‘Bald Eagle Act’ was approved and took effect in 1940. The act was designed to reduce the killing of these

Thanks to the efforts of wildlife officials, legislation, and volunteers the bald eagle has been downgraded from endangered to threatened throughout much of their known ranges.


magnificent raptors and to minimize the destruction of natural wetlands needed for their habitat and sustenance. Another threat to eagles is pesticides such as DDT. Its use on the eagle’s natural prey has resulted in physiological problems and birth defects including underdeveloped eggs. Since the usage ban of such chemicals, the eagle population has been on the rise. Thanks to the efforts of wildlife agencies, legislation, and volunteer activities, the bald eagle has been downgraded from endangered to threatened throughout much of their known ranges. Although improving, bald eagles still face risks from pollution, habitat loss, and other anthropogenic impacts. Continued support of this species is essential to its survival. Stonewall Jackson Lake, and others like it, affords enthusiasts the opportunity to experience these magnificent creatures in their natural setting. EDITOR’S NOTE: Christina Fox holds a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources and referenced material from the West Virginia Department of Natural Resource throughout this article. (Photos by Davette Saeler)

Partnership brings success to Dashields Story and photos by Marc Glowczewski, Engineering Branch The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District teamed with the Inland Navigation Design Center in Rock Island, Illinois, to complete the partnership’s first project together. The INDC was responsible for the design of the project while the Pittsburgh District Repair Fleet and maintenance engineers executed the work. The Upper Ohio Area Office provided contract oversight and the Navigation Design Branch coordinated the effort. The result was the installation of the Upstream Maintenance Bulkhead slots for the 110-foot chamber at Dashields Locks and Dam, completed Sept. 26. The installation of the recess fillers concluded a multi-stage project that included removal of a portion of the lock walls by concrete wire sawing, underwater preparation of the existing boule dam sill, fabrication of several miscellaneous metal items, and installation of the recess liner. The installation of the maintenance bulkhead slots became a priority when a Hydraulic Steel Structure inspection determined that the exist-

The Inland Navigation Design Center worked with the Pittsburgh District to complete work at Dashields Lock and Dam.

ing boule dam was not fit for service. This condition prevented the lock chamber from being dewatered and necessary maintenance work from being performed. The new slots will enable the use of the existing maintenance bulkheads from Braddock Locks and Dam to close off the upstream end of the primary chamber for dewatering.

Shenango Lake, partners host Environmental Education Day By Jason Cote, Shenango Lake

Christine Barker, Shenango Lake Shenango Lake staff and the PA Fish and Boat Commission explain the benefits of fish habitats.

Shenango Lake staff partnered with Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission at Buhl Park’s Environmental Education Day to teach elementary students about fish habitat, Oct. 7. The two agencies explained the importance and purpose of the fish homes, and taught the students how to build artificial fish habitats or cribs. Ten Pennsylvania porcupine cribs were constructed by seven different groups of local students who enjoyed the hands-on activity. The cribs were placed into Shenango Lake the following day by the district’s rangers and the PA Fish and Boat Commission staff.


Huntington District visits East Branch Dam By Kim Warner, East Branch Dam Resident Office Members of the Huntington District’s Muskingum Resident Office visited East Branch Dam Safety Modification Project staff at the resident office in Wilcox, Pennsylvania, Oct. 30. Personnel from both districts met to discuss and compare notes about project quality assurance, share information, and tour the site. The Muskingum Resident Office oversees the $44.3-million Bolivar Dam Safety Assurance Project near Bolivar, Ohio. The contract, which includes a dam cutoff wall, was awarded approximately seven months prior to the award of the $132.5-million East Branch Dam Cutoff Wall Rehabilitation Contract. Currently, earthwork is ongoing for the Bolivar Dam work platform construction while East

Kim Warner, East Branch Dam Resident Office (from left to right) Musingum Resident OFfice, Matt FOlk, Mark Wheeler and Jonathan West with East Branch Resident Office Josh Kinnear and Kevin Cannon.

Branch prepares to start its project. Participating in the visit and discussions were Huntington District’s Muskingum Resident Office staff Matt Folk, resident engineer; Mark Wheeler, project engineer;

and Jonathan West, a civil engineer. Josh Kinnear, a civil engineer; Kevin Cannon, project engineer, and Kim Warner, resident engineer participated from Pittsburgh District’s East Branch Resident Office.

Charleroi stilling basin undegoes hydraulic model testing By Meghann Wygonik, Engineering Branch The Charleroi Stilling Basin Extension Hydraulic Model reached a critical milestone with the Oct. 1 Modeling Data Report. The

report comes after significant challenges in construction which delayed the start of testing. Extreme loading conditions were tested first in order to meet the deadline. After the initial testing, the

team’s confidence increased that the grout bag layout and geometry would pass all successive testing. The results also provided critical misalignment information that can be used to support specifications, construction

Meghann Wygonik, Engineering Branch


quality control, and quality assurance. Additionally, test results identified potential areas of concern for the scour protection riprap that will be analyzed as testing continues. Testing continued throughout October. The results from the data report will be used by the district’s design team as efforts increase in preparation for a fiscal year 2015 construction contract award. The modeling work is being performed by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center to support the design of the Charleroi Stilling The Charleroi Stilling Basing undewent hydraulic modeling at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

Corps hosts National Public Lands Day Volunteers do their part at Conemaugh, Loyalhanna Lakes

Story and Photos by April Richards, Loyalhanna Lake Volunteers from the Saltsburg community came to the Bush Recreation Area at Loyalhanna Lake to support the Loyalhanna and Conemaugh lakes’ National Public Lands Day, Sept. 27. Throughout the day, volunteers and staff worked together to restore and enhance Corps lands and waters. In four hours, 16 volunteers filled four dumpsters with trash, pulled 35 tires from Volunteers at Conemaugh and Loyalhanna lakes took part in National Public Lands Day. the shoreline, and repaired eight picnic Throughout the day they cleaned up the shoreline, planted trees and repaired picnic tables. tables in addition to planting trees and wildflowers. Students and teachers from Blairsville-Saltsburg High School planted native trees throughout the campground and day-use facility. Masons from Williamson Lodge 431 repaired picnic tables, removed brush and planted wildflowers in the campground while members of the Woodlands Boat Dock Club and the other groups removed trash from the lake and shoreline. The many volunteers achieved the NPLD’s goal by improving and preserving America’s public lands. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single day volunteer effort for public lands. This year, 2,082 sites participated in the nationwide event. Loyalhanna and Conemaugh lakes would like to thank all of the volunteers that made National Public Lands Day a success.

Tionesta joins the 16th Annual Autumn Leaf Festival Parade Story and Photo by Luke Houston, Tionesta Lake

Tionesta Lake park rangers participated in the 61st annual Autumn Leaf Festival Parade in Clarion, Pennsylvania, Sept. 27. Bobber the Water Safety Dog and rangers Luke Houston, Jason Bowers, Adam Delaney distributed promotional items and talked with the public about water safety during the festival. The nine-day festival included a more than 170-float parade and attracts more than 300,000 people each year. Jason Bowers and Adam Delaney take a moment to pose in front of the Corps’ boat.


Water testing conducted at Youghiogheny By Carl Nim and Rose Reilly Photos by Matt Slezak and Carl Nim Members of the Pittsburgh District water quality team and Youghiogheny River Lake staff collected samples from Youghiogheny River Lake and its tributaries, Sept. 23 - 24. The effort is part of the district’s multi-tiered water quality monitoring program that supports Water Management Branch’s decisions for the operation of the district’s system of multipurpose reservoirs. Data collected is utilized to identify and understand the impacts of reservoir operations; identify opportunities to enhance operational benefits; document trends in water quality conditions; ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations; inform reservoir water control manual updates; and ensure long term, sustainable management of aquatic resources. The district’s multi-tiered water quality program includes coordination of the following components: 1) Intensive monthly limnological surveys of at least one district reservoir and its watershed each year from spring through early winter by the water quality team, with support from project staff. Intensive surveys are conducted


Corps employees from the Water Quality Section collected samples at Youghiogheny Lake and its tributaries. The testing was done to understand the impacts of reservoir operations.

at each district reservoir once every 10 years. 2) At least one annual, worst-case summer season intensive limnological surveys conducted at each district reservoir and its watershed by the water quality team, with support from project staff. 3) Year-round, continuous collection of routine, semi-monthly, water quality samples at the outflows and some inflows of all district reservoirs by project staff. 4) Continuous, real-time, water qual-

ity monitoring at reservoir operational control points located throughout the district, including in-lake water temperature and water quality at 12 reservoirs. This year, Youghiogheny Lake was selected for monthly water quality surveys, which began in May and will continued until November, depending on the weather. Water samples are collected throughout the lake along vertical profiles, the Youghiogheny river inflow to the lake, larger lake tributaries, and the Casselman and Youghiogheny Rivers downstream of the lake. Samples are being analyzed for many physical, biological, and chemical water quality parameters, such as pH, acidity, alkalinity, metals, nutrients, solids, salts, and algae. While results of sample analyses are pending, field data indicates that Youghiogheny Lake water quality has been very good and the lake has exhibited normal stratification patterns, likely attributable to this summer’s cooler, relatively wet weather. Almost 80 percent of the watershed upstream of the lake is forested, so lake water quality is generally very good. However, water quality in the watershed is impacted by legacy coal mine drainage, new shale gas development, and agricultural and urban runoff.

Mahoning lends expertise to hydropower development Story and photos by Jeff Hawk, PAO A U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District team received recognition in late September for its multi-faceted effort to support commercial hydroelectric development while safeguarding the structure, authorized purpose and environmental and recreational benefits provided by the Corps’ Mahoning Creek Dam in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the privately owned and newly constructed Mahoning Creek Hydroelectric Facility, Pittsburgh District Engineer Col. Bernard Lindstrom acknowledged the value of increasing alternative energy production while applauding the district’s contribution to the effort. “Developing alternative ways to generate domestic energy is vital to the quality of our lives, the security of our nation, and the betterment of our environment,” Lindstrom told attendees at an event held by the hydroelectric company. Lindstrom highlighted the district’s extensive coordination with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the facility owner to review technical and operational documents, assess environmental impacts, and perform regulatory functions associated with the new hydropower plant. “We’re committed to working with FERC, our federal and local partners, and the developer to meet our shared goal of adding to our nation’s domestic power

Col Bernard Lindstrom and partners cut a ribbon to officialy open a hydropower facility at Mahoning lake.

resources while ensuring we sustain our existing benefits and resources,” said Lindstrom. During the licensing process, applicants must demonstrate to the Corps that the proposed project will not adversely affect the structural integrity of the existing dam, adversely impact the Corps’ ability to provide the structure’s authorized purpose, or degrade the environment. Once in operation, the hydroelectric company must adhere to a memorandum of

agreement that typically outlines monitoring activities, operational considerations and mitigation measures. While the Pittsburgh District does not own and operate hydropower facilities, it supports the development of hydroelectric facilities such as the Mahoning Creek plant. Five of 23 locks and four of 16 reservoirs in the district currently provide hydropower and many of the remaining navigation and reservoir dams have hydroelectric permits.

Col. Lindstrom presents Pat Kline with a commanders coin in recognition of his and his staff’s work.

Civil Engineer Jeff Benedict serves as the district’s hydropower coordinator and led the Mahoning Creek facility effort. His team included Rose Reilly, biologist, who was the main contributor to an Adaptive Management Plan that lists seasonal water quality standards to be maintained by the hydroelectric company. Recently retired Mahoning Creek Dam Resource Manager Pat Kline and his staff – Anna Donato, Scott Eberle, Grover Pegg and Harry Breski – were commended for their dedication and flexibility in working with the hydroelectric company staff to meet operational requirements. Other significant contributors included: Jon Coleman, Clean Water Act wetlands permit activities; Jeff Horneman, real estate coordination; Tom McHugh, legal support and Memorandum of Agreement development; Dave Buccini and Josh Bridge, coordination of design reviews and agreement development; Steve Davidson, site access; and Conrad Weiser, compliance to the National Environmental Policy Act. Lindstrom joined Mahoning Creek Hydroelectric Facility officials in thanking the Pittsburgh District team for its work. “I understand the sacrifices you’ve made to ensure the benefits we provide everyday to the people of this region are sustained while providing this new resource to the nation,” he said. “It truly took a pool of multidisciplined experts with the district to get this right.”


Geotechnical Section oversees automated data system upgrades at East Branch Dam By Joseph Premozic, Geotechnical Engineering Section Tom Brown and Joe Premozic from the Geotechnical Engineering Section traveled to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ East Branch Dam to oversee upgrades to the automated data acquisition system, Nov. 12. The ADAS is a series of networked sensors with communication links to a central computer. The central computer tracks and stores instrumentation readings taken from within the earthen dam and foundation. The ADAS was developed for East Branch to monitor conditions, water levels within the dam and seepage flow rates at critical locations. Additionally, it diagnoses potential problems prior to the upcoming cutoff wall construction, assessed dam performance and response during construction, and determines the effectiveness of the cutoff wall after construction. Upgrades were made by URS Corporation, the district’s ADAS

consultant, and included installation of cameras at the dam abutments, anticlimbing plates on the communication tower near the concession building, inclinometer survey software, and redundant equipment. The additional cameras will provide better visual coverage of the work areas on the right and left abutments. The redundant equipment will reduce the time that system components are offline if and when components malfunction. During the multi-day visit, EC-DG read the existing inclinometers. The inclinometers consist of plastic casing installed within the earthen dam and into the foundation bedrock. The casing is measured periodically using stainless steel-encased sensors that are intended to detect potential deepseated movements, primarily related to internal erosion, in the dam at the right abutment, the most vulnerable portion of the dam. U.S. Geological Survey personnel also visited East Branch to install a

Joeseph Premozic, Engineering Branch The Pittsburgh District Geotechnical Engineering Section assisted with the upgrade of the Automated Data Acquisition System at East Branch Dam.

new pool gage in the intake tower. The gage will serve as the entry point for reservoir level data into the ADAS. URS will integrate the reservoir data into the ADAS in the near future.

Ahoy Matey! Allegheny Lock 2 turns 80

Submitted by Capt. George Boyle, edited by PAO

2013, the facility locked nearly 5,000 recreational boats as well as 1,300 commercial vessels. The lock was under construcMembers of a local boating tion from 1932-35, but opened to organization recently presented navigation traffic in October 1934. staff at Allegheny River Lock and It replaced the original lock built Dam 2 with a birthday cake to at river mile 7.0 between 1902 and commemorate the lock’s 80 years 1908. Like all navigation facilities on of service to the region. the Allegheny, Lock 2 consists of a Capt. George Boyle, the execusingle lock chamber and a fixed crest tive director of Boaters Are Voters Courtesy of Boater are Voters dam. This type of dam is basically a and a member of the Pittsburgh Captain George Boyle presents Tim Jones with a cake concrete weir or wall across the river Safe Boating Council, and Dr. to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Allegheny River Lock 2. which keeps the river channel upJoyce Penrose presented the cake river of the project deep enough for to shift leader Tim Jones while navigation -- about nine feet or more. locking through the facility in sustain the benefits of the aging inland Lock and Dam 2 facilitates all boatearly October. The cake presentation, waterways infrastructure. ing traffic, both commercial and recan idea of Dr. Penrose, was used to Lock and Dam 2 is an important reational. Its preservation and upkeep show support and appreciation for the part of Pittsburgh’s inland navigation is integral to Pittsburgh’s navigation continued upkeep of the region’s locks system and one of the busiest locks in system. and dams, and to focus on the effort to the nation for recreational boaters. In


Courtesy of Youghiogheny Lake The Youghiogheny Lake staff proudly participated in a National Breast Cancer Awareness Month program, Oct. 28. The staff showed its support for the cause and for one of their own, Ranger Suzanne Estock, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in June. The team wore pink and four coworkers shaved their heads in solidarity. A donation was made by the staff to the American Cancer Society for all the heads that were shaved.

Youghiogheny goes pink to honor friend By Carol E. Davis, PAO

think that’s the whole point to Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- to get people talking.” Getting people talking and building understanding is exMembers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh actly why Nancy Abbott, a lake project assistant, organized District team showed the ultimate sign of support for a cothe awareness program. worker going through cancer treatments. “I work side-by-side Suzanne every day, I understand Four Youghiogheny Lake staffers proudly displayed what she’s going through,” Abbott said. “My father had cantheir bald heads during a National Breast Cancer Awareness cer, and I saw the toll it took on my family, so this is someMonth program, Oct. 28, which took on a personal note. thing that is near and dear to In June, Park Ranger Suzanne my heart.” Estock heard the words that The program consisted every women dreads hearing of three short videos, breast -- you have breast cancer. cancer awareness, men’s “Suzanne is so strong,” • Every 2 minutes, there is a new breast cancer breast cancer awareness and Rick Miller, acting resource diagnosis. a music video by Martina manager, said. “I saw her • Every 14 minutes, a life is lost to the disease. McBride called ‘I’m Gonna coming to work every day Love You Through It’. In adeven though she was going • Over 40,000 people will die this year; about 400 of dition to the videos, the team through treatment and had lost them will be men. discussed breast cancer fact her hair. She didn’t let it stop • 85% of all diagnoses have no family history. sheets which included inforher. Her dedication to her job • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. mation about both men’s and and to our customers never • Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women’s breast cancer. changed.” women between ages 40 and 55. The program coincided Because of her dedication, with Estock’s latest chemothe team wanted to show their therapy treatment. She is support. They decided have an currently at the midway point in her treatments. awareness program, but Jim Stark, Rodney Williams, Matt “It’s so important that cancer patients have a strong Slezak and Miller wanted to show their support in a slightly support network,” Abbott said. “So much of our day is different way. spent at work, so when someone on the team is going “Suzanne’s courage allowed us to see that breast through something like this, we all go through it. We’re a cancer is something we can talk about and learn from,” team, and I wanted Suzanne to know we’re here for her. Miller said. “I have learned so much, and I have shared We’re on her team.” what I have learned with my family and other people. I

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Morgantown Lock dewatered, inspected Story and photos by Megan Garrett, Engineering Branch

Some Pittsburgh District personnel got a rare glimpse at a dewatered lock when they took part in an inspection of the repairs at Morgantown Lock, Oct. 28. Normally you would have to be a diver to see the bottom of the chamber, the gate sills, and filling ports, but all were visible on foot during the inspection of the dewatered lock. While the lock is dewatered, the repair party is working on the miter gate sills and electrical work within the gallery. The Corps’ Dam Safety Program requires that an inspection be conducted when a structure is dewatered and features that are usually submerged are visible. The lock, located near Morgantown, West Virginia on the Monongahela River has only been dewatered three times since its completion in 1950. The last time was in 1994.

Robert Burstynowicz, a district structural engineer, inspects one of two miter gate leaves at the upstream end of the 84 ft x 600 ft chamber. (left) Bob Szemanski, a district maintenance mechanical supervisor, examines a valve inside the dewatered land wall culvert.

Bobber and Tygart Lake get into the holiday spirit Tygart Lake kicked off the holiday season with a water safety-themed tree. The tree is decorated with various water safety promotional items, such as key chains and whistles. Children are invited to visit Tygart Lake’s visitor center from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and take an ornament. The Tygart Lake staff hopes the tree will help promote the message of being safe around the water even in the winter, when water-based recreation tends to be far from everyone’s mind. (By Christine Renzoni, Tygart Lake)


Corps hosts Constuction Quality Management Course By John Pontus, Engineering Branch Pittsburgh District conducted the Construction Quality Management for Contractors Course for 25 students in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Oct. 22 - 23. The course describes the quality control and assurance system used by the Corps and details planning concepts, which are prevention-oriented to reduce tear-out, improve quality and improve schedule of construction projects. Students must score at least 70 percent on the final exam to pass. After successful completion of the course, the students were issued a five-year certification. Shawn Soltis, a civil engineer at the Lower Mon Area Office, and Kevin Cannon, a project engineer from the East Resident Office, facilitated the course.

John Pontus, Engineering Branch The Pittsburgh District hosts a Consturction Quality Management for Contractors Course. The course describes the quality assurance system used by the Corps of Engineers.

Allegheny Lock 7 undergoes periodic inspection By Ben Sakmar, Engineering Branch As a part of the Dam Safety Program, members of the Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District conducted a periodic inspection of Allegheny River Lock and Dam No. 7, located in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, Aug. 26-27, 2014. All project features were in-

spected, including the 56-foot by 360foot lock chamber, more than 1,500 feet of concrete walls, and all operating equipment. A boat was used for inspection of the upstream and downstream riverbanks, the dam, and the side faces of the walls. Periodic inspections of flood control and navigation projects are conducted

on five-year intervals to document the project’s condition and to be used as a budgeting tool. Inspection team members are David Noll, Nick Waltenbaugh, Sara Woida, Megan Miller, Ian Vega, Frank Morone, Ron Gadomski, Dane Summerville, Bob Isler, Glenn Hawkey, Jason Prince, Jim Klanica, and Ben Sakmar.

Bobber and Shenango light it up during parade The Shenango River Lake staff took part in the Hermitage Light-up Parade, Nov. 22. Bobber and the rangers reminded the approximately 17,000 parade attendees to practice water safety and to wear their life jackets.Lead Ranger Rich Egger drove the float through the parade while Rangers Kyle Kraynak, as Bobber, Jason Cote, and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 5-4 Commander Bill Burnette waived to the cheerful crowd. (By Jason Cote, photo by Rich Egger, Shenango Lake)


Team inspects Allegheny River Lock 8 By Morgan Hoge, Engineering Branch The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District’s Engineering and Construction Division and the Operations Division inspection team conducted a periodic inspection of the Allegheny River Lock and Dam 8, Nov. 4. The 84-year-old lock and dam inspection included a tour of the 18-watt, non-federal hydropower plant located on the abutment side of the project. The inspection results were presented to the Operations Division personnel, Nov. 5.

Courtesy of Engineering Branch

Participants, from left to right, were Frank Morone, David Noll, Megan Miller, Ron Gadomski, Irene Mollah, Mike Pahlman, Bob Isler, Nick Waltenbaugh, Ian Vega, Dane Summerville, Angus Martindale and Morgan Hoge.

Inspections continue at Allegheny River Lock 9 By Ben Sakmar, Engineering Branch As a part of the Dam Safety Program, members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District conducted a periodic inspection of Allegheny River Lock and Dam 9, located in Templeton, Pennsylvania, Oct. 8. All project features were inspected, including the 56-foot wide by 360-foot long lock chamber, nearly 2,000 feet of concrete walls, and all operating equipment. A boat was used for inspection of the upstream and downstream riverbanks and dam, and to access the private hydropower facility along the right abutment. On Oct. 9, project personnel received the results of the inspection. Periodic inspections of flood risk management and navigation projects are conducted on five-year intervals to document the projects’ condition and are used as a budgeting tool to prioritize funds to address critical needs. Lock and Dam 9 is the most upstream navigation project on the Allegheny River, and is currently open to commercial traffic, by appointment only.


Courtesy of Engineering Branch Inspection team (from left to right): Ben Sakmar, Mike Pahlman, Nick Waltenbaugh, Daniel Nguyen, Joseph Bossard, Tom Brown, Alan Fregoso, Ian Vega, Megan Garrett, Jerry Garner, Bob Isler, and Samantha Peitz.

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Stonewall Jackson Lake hosts 18th Annual National Hunting and Fishing Days Celebration Story by Christina Fox, Photos by Kit Tressler, Ben Coulter, Stonewall Jackson Lake Approximately 13,000 hunting and fishing enthusiasts converged on the grounds of Army Corps of Engineers property of beautiful Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park for the 18th Annual National Hunting and Fishing Days celebration, Sept. 27-28. The two-day event was designed to teach participants about the outdoors through responsible hunting and fishing practices and techniques. The event was sponsored by the West Virginia Wildlife Federation and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in partnership with the Corps since its inception. The events offered a 3-D archery competition, outdoor youth challenge, wildlife painting for kids, raptor seminars, fly fishing and filleting demonstrations, deer field dressing and game skinning demo, live fish displays, educational exhibits and much more. Additionally, Bobber the Water

Stonewall Jackson Lake staff were on hand to speak with many of the visitors about the benefits of the lake. The purpose of the event was to promote safe hunting and fishing techniques and practices.

Safety Dog made numerous appearances and posed with everyone who wanted a picture. This year’s water

The event was sponsored by the West Virginia Wildlife Federation and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in partnership with the Corps

safety programming was at record high numbers. Presenters conducted 102 water safety programs to more than 750 participants, marking the highest recorded number since the Corps started the event in 2007. The event offered an opportunity for the Pittsburgh and Huntington districts to partner as a team to serve the public. This year marks the 15th year the two districts have partnered for the event. The group teamed up to staffed the display exhibit and information area, and provide a water safety programming station that included the patrol boat used as a backdrop throughout the two-day event. Stonewall team members were Ranger Christina Fox, Student Ranger Carly Heatherly, Resource Manager Jeff Toler, Maintenance Mechanic Kit Tressler, who photographed the event and volunteer Doug Dinkelo. Representing Burnsville was Ranger Ben Coulter and Burnsville volunteer Peggy Dawson.


Tabletop exercise held at East Branch By Morgan Hoge, Engineering Branch A tabletop emergency exercise was held at East Branch Dam, Oct. 22. The exercise included a project status update, water management plan and an emergency exercise scenario. After the exercise, the group walked to the project’s overlook for a visual tour and a questions and answers session. Corps employees and county emergency managers and Elk and Clarion Counties staff participated in the exercise. Emergency exercises will be held throughout the East Branch Dam Safety Modification Project.

Courtesy of East Branch Dam (Front row, left to right) Kim Warner, LTC Dull, Joshua Kinnear, Evan Skornick, Sherri Lovett, Diana Wolfe, Megan Garrett. (Back row, left to right) Mike Setlock, Werner Loehlein, John Pontus, Mohammed Ibrahim, Morgan Hoge, James Christ, Mark Greenthaner, Mike McAllister, Ray Imhot, David Dunn

Loyalhanna Creek nominated for PA River of the Year By April Richards, Loyalhanna Lake Loyalhanna Creek is one of five waterways nominated for the 2015 Pennsylvania River of the Year award. The competition is held to raise awareness of the important ecological, recreational, and historical values associated with the state’s rivers and streams. According to Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary, Ellen Ferretti, it’s also held to recognize the strong community alle-

giances that protect and enhance them. Every year since 1983, the Pennsylvania DCNR has recognized one river in Pennsylvania as the River of the Year. After a waterway is chosen, the watershed association receives a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund its River of the Year activities. Local groups work with the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, an affiliate of the PA Environmental Council to implement a year-round schedule of events to showcase the river.

In the past, River of the Year activities included paddling trips, speaker series, clean-up days and photography contests. The other 2015 waterways nominees include Conewango Creek, Lackawanna River, Neshaminy Creek, and the Ohio River. For the past five years, DCNR has opened the PA River of the Year to public voting. The Loyalhanna Watershed Association nominated Loyalhanna Creek to help promote the area and everything it has to offer.

For more information about all of our missions and projects visit:

www.lrp.usace.army.mil 16

What lies beneath?

Dewatering reveals significant damage at Morgantown Lock

By Jeff Hawk, PAO Photos by Greg Turko, PEWARS What lies beneath the water in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District’s aging navigation locks is sometimes difficult to fathom. The $2.8-million maintenance dewatering of Morgantown Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River, Oct. 17 - Nov. 19, revealed unexpected deterioration that lengthened the repair schedule and complicated the work needed to fix critical components. But skilled technicians and craftsmen from the Pittsburgh Repair Fleet and Pittsburgh Engineers Warehouse and Repair Station were up to the task. Once they dewatered the chamber, crews found that the upper and Workers smooth out conrete on the the upper and lower miter sills at Morgantown Lock. lower sills providing a seal for the lock Due to their condition both sills were replaced. miter gates were in much worse condition than originally estimated. Severely cracked concrete and dislodged timbers required crews to completely replace the lower miter sill, stretching the work schedule an additional twelve days and adding $600,000 to the price tag. Fixing the sills required installing an upstream needle dam and downstream poiree dam so that the existing miter gates could be removed and crews could work in the dry. Jackhammering, concrete placements, custom fabrication to replace 50-year-old parts, and hard work en- A miter Gate was lifted by the Derrickboat Monallo III by crane operator Kerry Brown during the $2.8-million maintenance dewatering of Morgansued. Crews fixed town Lock and Dam. the sills as well as ing lock and dam were also installed. When the repair party gate anchorages, departed Nov. 19, its month-plus stay yielded a more tightly dam gate hoist sealed chamber and a more reliable facility necessary to keep gear boxes, and navigation moving on the upper Mon. feeder electriMembers of the Upper Monongahela River Association cal cables. New and local government officials toured the site on two separate dam safety signs warning mariners occasions during the dewatering to emphasize the importance of the facility to the community and the local economy. of the approach-


PEWARS repairs leak at Mosquito By Eric Schreckengost, Mosquito Creek Lake

Eric Shreckengost, Mosquito Creek Lake Repair party members Jim Draper and Chris Bushaw inspect the cofferdam at Mosquito Creek Lake.

Members of the Pittsburgh Engineering Warehouse and Repair Station partnered with the Mosquito Lake staff to repair a leak at the dam outflow during the week of Sept. 22. Jason Filer, project engineer, along with Gordon Brown, Jim Draper, and Chris Bushaw from the repair party led the work with assistance from the Mosquito Lake team to repair the training wall joint in the outflow that has been an issue at the lake for years. To accomplish the task, a cofferdam was constructed to keep the work area dry, and numerous holes were drilled on both sides of the training wall joint. Workers injected a fast-acting sealer through the holes to fill the voids inside the joints. The task took four days to complete and attests to the Corps’ ability to tackle problems with new and innovative strategies in a team effort.

What is that? The blob strikes Mahoning Creek Lake By Grover Pegg, Mahoning Creek Lake What is that blob in the water? Is it some sort of fish egg? No. Maybe it’s some sort of frog or salamander egg? No. Despite the fact that this jelly-looking blob resembles an egg, it’s actually one of more than 5,000 species known as Bryozoa or moss animals. They are largely unknown to most people. According to the University of California Museum of Paleontology. Bryozoans are aquatic organisms usually living in colonies of interconnected individuals. This particular specimen was found at a boat ramp at Mahoning Creek Lake in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Found in jellylike colonies in warm, slow moving water, Bryozoa are colonial animals much like sponges. Also like sponges, they filter water for their food. Most Bryozoans produce a variety of chemical

Grover Pegg, Mahoning Creek Lake

compounds, some are used in medicine. One marine Bryozoan produces a compound, Bryostatin-1, which is currently being tested as an anti-cancer drug. So, if you spend time at Mahoning Creek and Crooked Creek lakes, you just might see one of these interesting animals.

Think before you sink! Wear your life jacket visit: bobber.info


District employees tackle Triathalon at Conemaugh By Mark Keppler, Conemaugh Lake Two Pittsburgh District employees participated in the 2nd Annual West Penn Trail Triathlon Oct. 11, portions of which were held on Conemaugh Dam property. Resource Manager Paul Toman and his son Kevin participated in the two-person team division. Toman participated in the cycling portion of the race. April Richards, natural resource specialist, competed in the individual division. The Toman team and Richards completed the race. The event started with a sevenand-a-half-mile paddle race beginning at the Conemaugh outflow where the district’s Water Management Branch provided a special water release to support the event. Next, participants biked a 14.4-mile loop from Saltsburg to the dam’s recreation area along the West Penn Trail. The race finished with a 5k run. The race had 141 participants, 93 individual racers, six two-person teams, and 12 three-person teams competing. The youngest participant

Mark Keppler, Conemaugh Lake The 2nd Annual West Penn Trail Triathalon was held at Conemaugh Lake. Resource Manager Paul Toman and his son Kevin participated in the two-person team division. April Richards competed in the individual competition.

was 12 and the oldest was 69. The event introduced new visitors to the West Penn Trail and the diverse natural resources offered at Conemaugh Dam.

The triathlon was sponsored by the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy and raised money to support the maintenance cost of the West Penn Trail.

Tygart Dam undergoes rigorous periodic inspection By Diane Czelusta, Engineering Branch As part of the Dam Safety Program, members of the Pittsburgh District’s Engineering and Construction Division conducted a periodic inspection of Tygart Dam, Aug. 19 - 22. Various areas of the dam were inspected including the outlet sluices, the interior of the dam, and the operating equipment. Periodic inspections of the flood risk management and navigation projects are conducted every five years.

Courtesy of Engineering Branch

Joe Bossard, Bob Burstynowicz, Rob Harmison, Vince De Carlo, Joe Kolodziej, and Stacy Lewis board boats to inspect the outlet sluices at Tygart Dam.

DID YOU KNOW? Tygart Dam was the first of 16 federal flood control project built in the Pittsburgh District. The project provides flood protection for the Tygart River Valley as well as for the Monongahela and upper Ohio River. In addition to flood control, the Tygart project is the only district project authorized for low-water regulation to support navigation. The increased flow also improves water quality and quantity for domestic and industrial use, recreation, esthetics and aquatic life.


Shenango Lake works to prevent illegal dumping By John J. Kolodziejski, Shenango Lake With more than 15,000 acres of land and water surface, and numerous developed and undeveloped recreation sites, Shenango Lake is a regionally popular and enjoyable destination. Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy quality outdoor activities such as camping, ATV riding, boating, hunting, fishing, bird watching and sightseeing. Unfortunately, these valuable assets can also harbor liabilities. As anyone working on a recreation site can attest, there are a few visitors who don’t appreciate or respect our lakes, rivers, fields and forests. At times, our areas can attract the wrong type of attention and become illegal dumping targets. Shenango rangers dili-

Jason Cote, Shenango Lake Brian Serafin and Lead Ranger Rich Egger prepare a load of tires for recycling.

gently work to combat such activity with regular patrols as do our four jurisdictional police departments. Considering the remote nature of the many roadways and access points, it’s quite challenging to fully counteract this type of ‘dump and run’ violation. The Law Enforce-

ment Cooperative Agreements with its contracted additional police patrols are suspended for the season, so the dumping problems have accelerated in the past few months. In an average year, we retrieve hundreds of tires around the Shenango Lake

area. We typically work with our partners, the Shenango River Watchers, each spring to properly recycle large pile of accumulated tires; however, in the last two months we picked up an additional 83 tires. Those tires were taken to a local municipal center for disposal. The next day, another 15 tires were found neatly stacked in one of our many lake parking areas. At least one active law enforcement investigation is pending, and we have shared this problem on our Facebook page to help raise public awareness and to receive possible tips. We realize only a few folks are responsible for this issue, but more importantly, the entire staff remains committed to providing a safe and healthy outdoor recreational experience at Shenango Lake.

Employees celebrate Upper Ohio Navigation Study The Upper Ohio Navigation Study draft report was unanimously approved by the Civil Works Review Board in October. This allows the study to move to the next step which is a 45-day state and agencies review. The approval is a significant milestone in marking the path for authorization of the Upper Ohio study. The study is vital to the future of the upper Ohio River inland navigation system, the surrounding communities and industries. The Upper Ohio Navigation Study will determine the best plan for improving the upper Ohio River navigation system, specifically the Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery Locks and Dams. The first three locks and dams on the Ohio River, just below The Point in Pittsburgh, were built prior to World War II and are the oldest structures with the smallest lock chambers in the Ohio River system. The feasibility study will address their structural condition, capacity, environmental issues and the corresponding economic benefits and costs to determine the best plan for improving the navigation system. (Photo by Carol Davis, PAO)

For more information about the Upper Ohio Navigation Study visit:



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