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Climbing to New Heights for Rehabilitation

On the Texas-Louisiana border, the 108-foot-high Toledo Bend Dam impounds Toledo Bend Reservoir, one of the largest reservoirs in the South. In 2010, a Freese and Nichols climbing team inspected the spillway tainter gates and hoists, finding some corrosion and section loss. Still, some unknowns remained, because spraying water, corrosion buildup and vegetation kept some areas from being thoroughly evaluated. Those unknowns would have posed significant challenges — namely many change orders — if the project team had designed upgrades to all 11 gates without knowing the full picture. Instead, they developed a pilot program starting with rehabilitation of the gate that would need the most repairs. The remaining gates were rehabilitated in three phases, with each design incorporating lessons learned from previous phases. Completion of the final phase is expected this year.

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