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Investigation of Mechanical Breakdowns Leading to Lock Closures

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE owns or operates 236 locks at 191 sites, more than half of which have surpassed their 50-year design life. There are increasing concerns about their continued safe, reliable operation into the future, especially considering the fact that routine maintenance, lock dewaterings, and inspections sometimes occur at less than optimal intervals. Although critical re-pairs are prioritized, delayed maintenance increases the risk of failures that result in lock closures. One significant factor that contributes greatly to the difficulty of lock condition assessment is that much of the lock infrastructure typically remains under water. When a lock is dewatered, it is common to find previously unidentified distress, deterioration, and damage. To address such maintenance is-sues, there is an increasing need to gather more accurate information on repair needs and to prioritize those repairs. This work investigated types and frequencies of lock failures so that sensors can be used more effectively to identify imminent lock operational failures and concerns for ongoing lock reliability. Numerous data sources were used to collect these data, even though most of these sources were not created for the purpose of collecting the type of data the work investigated. The data gap is also discussed in the report.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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