Maintenance Support Team, Lock engineers tackle tough jobs > Nashville District > News Stories

Maintenance Support Team, Lock engineers tackle tough jobs > Nashville District > News Stories

GRAND RIVERS, Ky. (March 13, 2023) – Nashville District Upkeep Aid Staff and engineers from Kentucky Lock and Barkley Lock onboard the Motor Vessel Iroquois fixed a mooring mobile by changing broken and outdated sections this 7 days just upstream of Kentucky Lock on the Tennessee River in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.

The MST and Kentucky Lock servicing staff worked side by side to cling symptoms, repair service mooring cells, and weld new metallic tie off rings made use of by vessels waiting to lock by Kentucky Lock. With guidance from the MST, personnel at the lock can attain harder repairs that need unique tools or more workers.

The touring MST is a 3-man or woman group assigned to the Iroquois. The grasp pilot is Herbert Thomasson, Darryl Henry is the crane operator, and Wayne Hart serves as the main engineer. The Iroquois and MST navigate the Tennessee River and Cumberland River to give upkeep and maintenance to Corps jobs and have visited Kentucky Lock a number of moments over the past several a long time.

Thomasson is in cost of navigating the boat to the demanded areas and positioning it to accomplish repair perform. Thomasson said he enjoys his task and touring the rivers, supporting engineers make repairs they could not do formerly.

“I love operating for the Corps. I have worked on the river for 46 years this June, I’ve been a accredited pilot for 40 a long time and I’ve labored for the Corps for 12 many years. I feel like I have been all around extensive adequate to have observed a great deal of this things carried out and I can give my professional suggestions when necessary,” explained Thomasson.

Ross Cunningham, Lake Barkley Lock and Dam Equipment supervisor, selected the required welders, electricians, crane operators, and engineers from Lake Barkley Lock and Kentucky Lock to attain the vigorous work.

“It’s my responsibility to acquire servicing team from Kentucky and Barkley Locks who can execute work opportunities that acquire a little bit a lot more manpower and a minimal little bit more gear capabilities than what we already have at the lock challenge. We’re happy to have so lots of expert staff to choose from. It would make making these groups a lot easier,” claimed Cunningham.

Cunningham mentioned positions the MST has presented assistance for are unlimited. “There’s a lot the MST can do within just their capabilities. The Iroquois carries a crane with a 110-ton compacity which will help us achieve obtain to destinations like Barkley Lock’s riverwall and Kentucky Locks decrease land wall.”

Cunningham stated the camaraderie and the individuals that he operates with are his favored portion of the task. “They’re pretty unique individuals and they all have a whole lot of expertise. It’s an honor being the chief of this group and I consider there is very little that we can’t achieve.”

All through this pay a visit to, the MST targeted on restoring mooring cells harmed by industrial towing boats and privately owned vessels.

Kentucky Lock and Dam Operator and Maintenance Mechanic Adam Halcom reported fixing these rings is an essential position since vessels traveling by Kentucky Lock need to moor their boat even though they wait around for the lock gates to open up.

“We had to clear away the broken rings in get to weld new rings to the mooring cell. We also used safety shackles. These are significant cells travelers need to have access to when navigating the Tennessee River,” reported Halcom.

Halcom reported there are employment alongside the river that engineers just cannot carry out devoid of the support of the MST so coming alongside one another to get the position finished often feels like a good accomplishment. 

“It’s very good when we can team up simply because it’s one of the several times, we all get to perform with each other. It is a great ambiance and I know I can achieve new understanding,” reported Halcom.

Previous calendar year, Kentucky Lock gates were broken when a vessel barreled suitable into the shut gates, nearly breaking absolutely via to the other aspect. The Iroquois pulled up to the lock gates offering simple obtain for the MST to immediately make the repairs.

“The gates are very significant, and so was the destruction. The MST delivered additional hands and tools we required to make the pores and skin plates and valve stem repairs so we could get the gates fixed and Kentucky Lock operational as quickly as achievable,” explained Cunningham.

The Tennessee River is 653 miles long with the farthest lock currently being Fort Loudoun Lock in the vicinity of mile 602. Owing to the great size of the lake and minimal access to elements of the land surrounding the locks, Thomasson claimed the MST’s get the job done is even a lot more vital.

“The locks on the East Tennessee River are one barge locks which never generally have entry to the much aspect of the lock. Engineers at these destinations may well require support with repairs as very simple as placing up a flagpole or environment a bulkhead operating gate fixed.  They have no entry to people locations but we do, so the MST is a very crucial asset to the total river program primarily on the East Tennessee conclude,” reported Thomasson.

It does not get any more schooling to be a portion of the MST or to do the job with them. Team associates are usually engineers from the Corps locale needing the more assistance, but engineers from other Nashville District spots or USACE districts may possibly offer more help.

“I’ve been to other spots with Thomasson on the Iroquois to repair service their amenities. We really do not want any needed training. We by now have schooling from doing the job at the lock as a servicing mechanic. We do get some education on the boat, but it is quite straight ahead, “said Halcom.

The Nashville District routinely advertises its position possibilities on, and also posts them on its general public LinkedIn page. The public is inspired to stick to the LinkedIn web page for the latest Nashville District work and contracting possibilities at

The public can also get information, updates and facts from the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at, on Fb at and on Twitter at The public can also follow Kentucky Lock on Facebook at