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FDH Velocitel’s Heavy Civil (HVC) Group, led by Robert Lindyberg, PhD, PE, was recently awarded four task orders for the testing and evaluation of dams managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Issued by the Corps’ Louisville, Huntington and Pittsburgh districts, the task orders specify the nondestructive testing and evaluation of 912 trunnion rods at Newburg Lock and Dam (Newburgh, IN), 832 trunnion rods at Greenup Locks and Dam (Greenup, KY), 432 trunnion rods at Willow Island Locks and Dam (Newport, OH), and 184 trunnion rods at Charleroi Locks and Dam (Charleroi, PA).
An additional task order is pending for testing of 1,300 trunnion rods at Cannelton Locks and Dam (Cannelton, IN).
“The award of these projects marks a major step forward in the commercialization of FDH Velocitel’s proprietary nondestructive testing services for dams, both for the Corps and those who look to them for guidance,” said Rakesh Khan, PE, engineering manager for FDHV’s investigative services projects for dams and other civil infrastructure.
The five task orders total approximately $1.8 million. FDHV’s engineering and construction crews will be mobilizing over the next six months to complete the work.
FDHV’s Brennon Fuqua, EI, PMP, who manages the on-site mobilization efforts, noted that the six-month timeframe is challenging but important to accomplish before the high-water season begins on the Ohio River.
“We have an experienced and well-trained crew,” said Fuqua. “We are confident we can meet the project schedule and provide timely data to the Corps districts to support their decision making about the maintenance needs of the dams they manage.”
About FDH Velocitel’s Nondestructive Testing Services for Dams
Since 2008 FDH Velocitel has been developing and refining an innovative nondestructive evaluation (NDE) test to safely and efficiently measure in-situ tension in post-tensioned trunnion anchor rods. The traditional test method – hydraulic lift-off testing – is costly, inefficient, and poses significant safety hazards to personnel and the work site.
Working with the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), FDH Velocitel is completing a full-scale validation of this NDE test method on eight (8) USACE dams, which will be followed by “blind” testing at ERDC’s laboratory in Vicksburg, MS. Once complete, this validation program will enable USACE and other dam owners to utilize this NDE test service, without the need for the costly and dangerous hydraulic lift-off tests.
To date, results of the validation program have shown that with a speed more than 10x the traditional hydraulic lift-off test, and minimal equipment and personnel requirements, the FDH Velocitel NDE test can be performed at a fraction of the cost of conventional hydraulic lift-off testing, reducing testing costs by up to 90 percent.
In anticipation of the demand for this service, USACE issued an Engineering Construction Bulletin (USACE ECB No. 2015-20) in December 2015 notifying all USACE Districts of the pending availability of this service. On May 23, 2016, USACE awarded FDH Velocitel a 5-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to perform this testing in the continental U.S.