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Harlan County finishes renovations on dam

Harlan County finishes renovations (NTV News)

Under budget and ahead of schedule, two phrases that don't often come up when talking about large public works projects, but the Army Corp of Engineers managed to complete the mammoth task of repairing and modernizing the flood gates at Harlan County dam months ahead of schedule.

The project began back in 2013 after Harlan County dam was designated a priority for repair by the Army Corp of Engineers. Concerns for the dam arose initially almost 20 years ago when a dam in California with similar construction and flood gate design tried and failed to open their gates safely.

Manager Larry Janizec said the issue comes from the gate operation while water is on the gates causing friction.

"What the contract was, was to repair the tainter gates that are back behind us and they are our flood gates and there are 18 of them," said Larry Janizec, operations project manager. "At first they found a problem where there is water up on the gates, there is friction up on the bearings that could cause failure of the gates."

Residents of the area and engineers servicing the dam are happy to get the project completed and construction out of the way before the summer gets into full swing.

"For the last four to five years we have had dam closures throughout the year, they could never close them on weekends, but we have had dam closures that the people had to deal with for a long time so everybody is pretty happy the contract is finally complete and the project is complete," Janizec said.

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