The Travels of Tug 44

Rebuilding Lock E-6
Winter Maintenance on the New York Canals

In 2008, Erie Canal Lock E-6 is in sad shape and has needed some serious work for a number of years. The concrete walls in the chamber are crumbling and have huge holes in their surface.

In the winter of 2008-2009, contractors have drilled the walls and dynamited about 18 inches off the surface. The row of pipes protruding from the bottom of the walls are the openings to the valve tunnels, and were flush with the concrete surface before it was stripped.

A look straight down about 5 stories at the excavator that was used to clean up the blast rubble. Not sure how I managed to get this photo, I'm afraid of heights!

This machine has rotating teeth, used to grind smooth the concrete walls, providing a good surface for the new concrete to grip onto.

This is the upper sill, already ground down and prepped. Looking closely, you'll see faint blue marks that indicate the spots where rebar will be inserted to lock the new concrete to the old surface.

How can you pour concrete when the outside temperate can drop as far as minus 28 degrees? Simple, you build a "greenhouse" of plastic sheeting and connect portable heaters to warm up the old surface. The workers appreciate it too.

This is the upper gate sill, also prepped and being heated up for the concrete pour. The small machines at the bottom are heaters.

Here the plastic has been removed to show the beautiful freshly poured concrete walls. The plastic has been moved to the far end for the next pour.

A view of the bottom of the lock, showing the pipes to the valve tunnel. The pipes are now once again flush with the concrete's surface.

This is the exit at the lower end of the valve tunnel. The opening is about 8 feet wide and 12 feet tall. That's a lot of water flow.

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