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REPLACING LOCK GATES ON THE KANAWHA RIVER

BY

Mr. THOMAS E. JEFFRIES

Assistant Engineer

The following description of the method used in replacing the lock gates on the Kanawha River is given in order that it may be compared with that employed on the Galena River, as described by Assistant Engineer S. Edwards, in the PROFESSIONAL MEMOIRS for October-December, 1910.

Mr. Edwards’ description is interesting and instructive for situations where gates of light material and design are used, but would not suit conditions as found on the Kanawha River. The illustrations show how the upper gates could be handled with the lower gates closed and the pool full, but do not fully illustrate how the work was done in the lower pool, unless the water was held up with a cofferdam. If these gates were light enough to float, could they not have been floated into the gate recesses and raised into position with crabs? Why should a cofferdam have ever been thought of

The Kanawha River has fluctuations of 45 feet and more, in consequence of which the gates have to be built on the bank above ordinary high water. They are built of oak, which, with the addition of the valve frames, valves, and other irons, makes them much too heavy to float; the weight of a single gate, ready to be placed, being thirty tons or more, according to the location.

The method pursued here is as follows: Two gates are built on the top of the bank, generally below the lower entrance to the lock. When these two gates are finished, they are lowered on skidways down the bank and out into the river far enough for an empty flatbottom boat to be floated over them. Heavy timbers are placed across the deck of this boat with their ends projecting beyond the gunwales; the width of the boat used being less than the height of the gates. The gates are then pulled up close to the bottom of the boat and held there with chains fastened to the projecting timbers. You are now ready for work in the lock chamber, but have not in

terfered with navigation. At locks where the gate bays have not been filled, a stick of timber is placed diagonally across the upper end of the gate recess under the end of the gate, one end resting on the cross- sill and the other on an offset in the masonry. The old gates are unfastened at their anchorage, lifted, and pulled a short distance upstream to release them from the quoins and pintles. after which they are lowered into the lock chamber with crabs located on the lock wall. A second boat is toated over the gate,

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Fig. 1. Launching one of the Lock Gates, where it was built and moved, into

the river at the lower end of the lock. The chains attached to eye-bolts are for holding gate to bottom of boat. Block in lower left hand corner acts as a cushion to prevent gate striking the back of the recess and breaking valves or rods.

and it is picked up and fastened to the bottom of the boat in the same manner as the new gates. The boat with the new gate IS floated into the chamber and laid close to the wall with the timbers of one side projecting into the gate recess, which also allows the bottom of the gate to lie partly in the recess. The gate is then unfastened and lowered, allowing the boat to be toated away. The gate is then raised to a vertical position with lines and blocks by

means of the crabs fastened to timbers on lock wall, as will be seen in the illustration (Fig. 2). It is then raised with jacks and pushed back into position and dropped onto the pintle.

In jacking up both the old and new gates they are suspended by chains crossing the jacks on wooden saddles, the jacks being placed on a timber running the full length of the gate recess, directly over the gate, the timber being held in position by a crosstimber fastened to the lock wall, or weighted down with old irons or

[graphic]

Fig. 2. Raising one of the Look Gates. After being pulled up to a vertical

position, the gate is lifted up by jackscrews applied at the top and is then lowered on pintle. The upper fastenings are then attached. The sheathing shown on bottom side of the gate is put on to protect gate and allow it to slide on skidways. It is removed when gate is hung.

stone. By placing the chains so that they will lead, the gate is easily shifted back into the quoin and over the pintles

The time required to take down two old gates and hang two new ones is between five and six days of eight hours, or from forty to forty-eight hours of continual labor. The fastest time that has been made in putting in a gate was to start from the top of the

bank and hang it in eight hours this refers to a new gate, and not to a replacement.

In doing this work the same force is employed that builds the gates, composed mostly of carpenters, and while this class of labor apparently increases the cost, I think it is fully compensated for by the better class of trained labor employed. If the working time of the men employed could be increased to ten or twelve hours per day the suspension of navigation could be materially reduced.

Charles Gratiot

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Charles Gratict (see frontispiece) was born in Missouri in 1788. and entered the United States Military Academy from that State cn July 17, 1804. He graduated October 13, 1806, and was appointed Second Lieutenant of the Corps of Engineers. He servei on engineer duty in Missouri Territory from 1806 to 1808, when he was appointed Captain of the ('orps of Engineers, February 23, 1808. He was assistant engineer in the construction of the defenses of Charleston Harbor, S. (., 1808-1810, and on duty at the Military Academy from 1810-1811.

In the War of 1812, he was Chief Engineer of the Northwestern Army, under the command of General Ilarrison, during the campaign of 1813-1814, being engaged in the defense of Fort Meigs, April 28-May 9, 1813, and in the attack on Fort Mackinac, August 1, 1811. He commanded the detachment which landed near the mouth of the Natewasaga on September 13, 1814, and destroyed six months provisions belonging to the enemy. He was appointed Brevet-Colonel, Michigan Militia. October, 1814, and Major, Corps of Engineers, February 9, 1815.

He was Superintending Engineer of the fortifications on the Delaware River and Bay, 1816-1817; Chief Engineer of Department No. 3 (Michigan and Northwest Territory), 1817-1818, and Superintending Engineer of the defenses of Hampton Roads, Va., 1819-1829. IIe was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel, Corps of Engineers, March 31, 1819, and Colonel and Chief Engineer of the Army, May 24, 1828, and on the same day was made Brevet Brigadier-General for meritorious services and general good conduct. Ile was in command of the Corps of Engineers, in charge of the Engineer Bureau, and (ex-officio) Inspector of the Military Academy from May 21, 1828. until December 6, 1838, and during the

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same time was a member of several ordnance and artillery boards. On December 6, 1838, he was summarily dismissed by President Van Buren for “ having failed to pay into the Treasury the balance of the moneys placed in his hands, in 1835, for public purposes, after spending therefrom the amount which he claims to be due him on settlement of accounts, according to the President's order, communicated to him by the Secretary of War on the 28th Nov., 1838; and having neglected to render his accounts in obedience to the law of Jan. 31, 1823."

The Committee on the Judiciary made, August 31, 1852, to the Senate of the United States, the following report on the memorial of General Gratiot, which had been referred to it:

The career of the petitioner in the Army of the United States, during a long period of nearly forty years, is a matter of history that may justly excite the pride and admiration of every American citizen. Brave in battle, he presided, for a long time, with distinguished honor and ability, at the head of one of the most difficult and arduous bureaus of the military department, and has left to the country lasting monuments of his skill and science in the construction of various magnificent fortifications, both to exhibit her strength and to insure her safety.

“While thus honorably and usefully employed in the public service for so many years, he was constantly confided in by his country, and never abused her confidence in the disbursement of immense sums of money, and lived hon. ored and respected by all classes of mn, with no taint of suspicion attaching to his name.

“With a character so high to sustain him, the charge of malfeasance should be received with great cantion by the people, and rigidly serutinized by ('ongress, and no unjust mfluences of any nature whatsoever, should be permitted to prevail in his case; but if, unfortunately, such influences do obtain ground, then it is obviously the imperative duty of Congress to remove them, for no higher duty devolves upon the federal legislature than the protection of the honor of its military officers, of which it is necessarily, to a very great extent, the chiei custodian.

“In support of his first plea, the petitioner exhibits a mass of testimony, which is certainly entitled to be very calmly weighed and measured; and among the same is the opinion of the General Commanding-in-Chief, upon a parallel case, than which no authority can be higher.

“In support of the second plea, he denies totally the truth of the charge of defalcation, and contends that he is not, and never was, indebted to the United States for moneys misused by him, and that a just and legal adjustment of his accounts will bring the l'nited States in debt to him; that the withholding of the funds, upon the demand of the Secretary of War, was a measure of selfdefence, justified by the circumstances of the case, and that he was then and is now prepared for an equitable settlement, which is his demand and desire.

" It seems to the committee that both of the pleas are reasonable, and

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