The Winfield Locks and Dam are located at river mile 31.1 on the Kanawha River at Red House, WV, and is one of three similar projects constructed on the Kanawha River to provide a navigable depth of nine feet. Winfield Locks and Dam is an integral component of the Kanawha River navigation system that provides an efficient, reliable, and economical means for commodity transport. The Winfield Locks and Dam’s navigation pool extends approximately 36 miles upstream to Marmet Locks and Dam. The project was authorized by the River and Harbor Acts of 1930 and 1935 and construction of an additional lock and fish and wildlife mitigation by the Water Resources Development Act of 1986. The original locks were placed in operation in 1935 and construction of the dam and other features completed in 1937. The additional lock chamber was completed in 1997. The project was designed, constructed, and is owned, operated, and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Major Rehabilitation Evaluation was initiated due to operational failures that have occurred and structural concerns for all the dam roller gates at Winfield Locks and Dam. The project has numerous documented problems with the aging structural, mechanical, and electrical components. Potential component failures resulting in project closures and consequences would be severely disruptive to inland navigation. Closures with a loss of pool would have secondary consequences to municipal and industrial water supply sources, recreation, aquatic habitat, hydropower generation, coal power generation, and industrial plant operations.
The purpose of the Major Rehabilitation Program is to determine if maintenance needs qualify for major rehabilitation and if so, the rehabilitation is intended to improve reliability or efficiency of the project which provides navigation services to the Nation. The Major Rehabilitation Evaluation comprised a comprehensive assessment of project components posing the greatest risks to operational reliability and efficiency and provided a recommendation for a cost-effective solution.
The Federally recommended plan, is Plan D, Immediate Rehabilitation of the following components: dam roller gates; dam roller gate machinery; dam electrical service distribution; Tainter gate anchorages; main lock miter gate anchorages; and main lock emergency gate machinery. This major rehabilitation would improve the reliability of the project. The estimated project total first cost is $159,700,000 (Fiscal Year 2023 price level). The economic analysis based on Fiscal Year 2023 price level, Fiscal Year 2023 Federal discount rate of 2.5%, and a 50-year period of analysis yields equivalent annual costs of $5,500,000, equivalent annual net benefits of $12,600,000, and a benefit cost ratio of 3.3.
The Winfield Locks and Dam Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Director of Civil Work in December 2022. The Director of Civil Works Memorandum dated 14 December 2022 to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, puts forth the recommendation and requests support and assistance in budgeting of the recommended plan. Major Rehabilitation will be accomplished/implemented using cost shared funds with 65 percent from the General Fund of the Government and 35 percent from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.