News: Kentucky Lock team receives Nashville District’s Hedgehog Award
Story by Leon Roberts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A construction team at the Kentucky Lock Addition Project, which stepped up to manage the repair of a hydropower unit at Barkley Power Plant, received the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s Hedgehog Award Feb. 11 at the district’s headquarters.
Mike Wilson, Nashville District deputy for Programs and Project Management, praised the team for its commitment to both projects, and for their “get-it-done attitude.”
“The Kentucky Lock team had a full plate with managing the construction of the new lock there at Kentucky, when along comes a fire at Barkley that did significant damage to one of the [hydropower] units,” Wilson said. “And we had emergency funds to turn around and try to get the unit back in place.”
Wilson said every day the unit remained down resulted in significant amounts of lost revenue to the nation because it could not generate power. The team jumped in and worked overtime and on weekends to get the hydropower unit repaired while also working on the Kentucky Lock Addition Project.
Maj. Brad Morgan, Nashville District deputy commander, presented the Hedgehog Award to Jesse Pullen, resident engineer, who accepted the award on behalf of the team and thanked everyone in attendance for recognizing their hard work on both projects. Pullen said he would be passing along the trophy to the repair team at Kentucky Lock.
Kentucky Lock is located in western Kentucky at mile 22.4 of the Tennessee River. The Nashville District is currently building a 110-foot by 1,200-foot lock that when complete will reduce the time it takes for commercial barges to lock through and deliver goods along the waterway.
Adam Walker, project manager for the Kentucky Lock Addition Project, said the team has already completed numerous relocation activities including electrical transmission towers and new highway and railroad bridges crossing the Tennessee River.
“The Kentucky Lock Office was originally established to oversee the construction of a major navigation project,” Walker said. “But they are often tasked to support other activities in the area due to their close proximity to other Corps projects. The dedication and self-sacrificing attitudes of this relatively small staff allows them to tackle a wide array of project work while not sacrificing quality on any of them.”
Barkley Hydropower Plant’s unit one experienced a phase-to-ground fault that caused a fire and damaged the 32.5 megawatt generator’s stator windings Dec. 19, 2010. It resulted in an $11.5 million major repair project, which the team from Kentucky Lock managed. The project began Aug. 15, 2012 and the unit went back online Nov. 18, 2013.
Jamie James, project manager for the unit’s repairs, said to return the unit to service, a complete generator stator rewind had to be undertaken. This involved the disassembly of the unit, removal of the rotor, rewinding the stator cells, replacing damaged rotor poles, installing new generator air coolers, refurbishment of bearings, reassembly of the unit, and testing.
“As with any project there were issues that arose during the course of work that required action and adjustments,” James said. “The staff was able to foresee some of the upcoming issues, and along with the unexpected, they were proactive in helping the team address each with an effective and cost-efficient solution.”
James added that the team managed a challenging workload with a relatively small staff and maintained focus on executing the project on time without sacrificing quality and safety.
The members of the repair team being recognized are Pullen, Resident Engineer Tony Ellis, Jody Robinson, Mark Gibson, Barry Arnett, Vanessa English, Martin Lockard, Patricia Ashley, and Master Sgt. Ronnie Pearson.
The Hedgehog Award is given quarterly by the Nashville District to individuals or team of employees to recognize excellence.
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