Combined Effort to Replace Wire Rope Assemblies on 11 Corps Dams

Houston Structures Inc., a member of the Oregon-based Ulven Companies, announced it has successfully completed a contract from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide tainter gate wire rope assembly replacements for 11 dams in Oklahoma and Kansas.

The $2.96 million contract, awarded through the Corps of Engineers’ Tulsa District, was fully funded through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Ten of the dams included in the contract are located in Oklahoma, with one located in Kansas. Some of the dams include hydroelectric power plants.

776 cable assemblies, about 55,000 feet of stainless steel wire rope and nearly 1,550 sockets all were produced on the Ulven Companies contract to fulfill the needs of the rehabilitated tainter gates, Ulven officials reported.

Hubbard, Oregon-based Houston Structures Inc., a stand-alone company that also is a member of the Ulven Companies, oversaw project management, engineering and field verification for the project, said Mike Severson, Houston Structures project manager.

All the cast sockets for the project came from Ulven unit Wolf Steel and were machined by Ulven Forging, Severson said.

All of the wire rope was produced at Pomfret, Connecticut-based Loos & Co. Inc., a firm that manufactures a variety of wire, aircraft cable and wire rope for use in a range of applications.

Pre-stretching, load testing and cable assembly was completed by Clackamas Oregon’s Cascade Rigging Inc. In addition to assisting in fabrication of wire rope assemblies, Cascade also is a wholesale supplier of wire rope, rigging and related hardware.

“It’s pretty phenomenal,” Cascade Rigging President Bob Cushman said of the scope of the recently-completed Corps contract. “11 dams is a big number.”

Severson said field verification work comprised a sizeable amount of his duties related to the USACE contract.

“I personally went to all of the dams,” said Severson, noting that he interviewed personnel, viewed as built drawings and inspected cable assemblies on site. “Once the dam personnel interviews were complete, all the drawings were checked and photographed and the dam inspections were finalized, Houston Structures then reproduced all the components in CAD and went through a drawing check off routine with the Corps of Engineers.”

The contract was awarded in April 2010 and was completed earlier this month.

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