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Practice Makes Perfect at Dillon Dam

Published July 15, 2014
Dillon Lake Maintenance workers train by using a crane to move a stack of aluminum stop logs into position.

Dillon Lake Maintenance workers train by using a crane to move a stack of aluminum stop logs into position.

By 1960 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moved the original railroad that ran along the Licking River to a higher elevation, due to the construction of Dillon Dam - the lake and river elevations would eventually flood the track if not for the move.

The relocated track runs through the right abutment of Dillon Dam. An aluminum stop log closure system is used to close off the area of the track during spillway discharge.

The process for applying the stop logs is a long and tedious one. They were originally stored within a concrete enclosure and brought out one at a time and stacked one on top of the other by use of a crane. This created a 20 foot wall to block off the rising lake waters.

A system had been devised to connect sets of eight logs each and can be moved by use of a forklift and stacked by a crane. This allows a shorter stack time, less man hours, and a much safer system.

The first trial run for this new system was conducted in July by Dillon Lake Maintenance to iron out any bugs and to see how long this new system would take to set up.

The new stop logs have never been tried out to verify the fit was a quality one. The railroad was contacted ahead of time to close off the tracks, and was there to make sure this was done in a safe manner.

The outcome was a success. The first try was accomplished much quicker than the old system, and with few flaws.