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For the first time in decades, hydroelectric power generation is now being considered as an environmentally-sound energy source. Many existing U.S. dams that were originally constructed for flood control or irrigation applications are now being re-evaluated as potential retrofits to add power generation to a standing structure’s current uses. Iowa’s Red Rock Hydro Electric Plant on the Des Moines River was a successful candidate for this type of minimal-impact project.

L.B. Foster Company’s piling business unit is playing an integral role in the retrofit of this existing Army Corps of Engineers dam. L.B. Foster was awarded a contract by Ames Construction to supply 1,154 tons of PZC™ 26 steel sheet piling and 849 tons of wide flange king pile beams with connectors.

The project’s construction involves highly advanced civil engineering techniques and structural designs. L.B. Foster is playing a key part in providing the fabricated steel required to construct these unique retention walls. One innovative structure includes an array of complex deep cofferdams and combination retention walls for the hydro dam’s penstocks. The Pittsburgh-based steel fabricator and distributor is also providing material for over 400 feet of sheet pile wall for critical access road platforms to the new intake structures.

L.B. Foster’s piling material is being utilized in the construction of the hydro plant’s temporary excavations adjacent to the steep Red Rock Dam works. Initially, PZC sheets were used to create a closure dike which protects the site’s excavation against water from the river. PZC sheets connected with wide flange beams were also used as a combi-wall structure to reinforce excavation work that is continuing in the area where the powerhouse will be located.

The L.B. Foster piling team was well-represented in the lead up and award of this innovative project contract. MWH Global, the project’s engineers, specified L.B. Fosters’ products as the result of Lunch and Learn programs conducted by L.B. Foster’s Business Development Manager, Phil Wright and Senior Client Manager, Dru Kocina. Rich Mpistolarides, L.B. Foster District Sales Manager, Great Lakes District and Tom Thompson, Sales Coordinator worked closely with Richard Morales, M.Sc., P.E., L.B. Foster Director of Engineering to produce technical information, material recommendations and provide critical jobsite logistics support.

The Red Rock Hydro Electric Plant project is scheduled for completion in 2018. The Des Moines River facility will be the second largest hydropower plant in Iowa, with a capacity to produce enough energy to meet the needs of 18,000 homes.

PZC™ is a trademark of Gerdau. 

lbfosterus en 15 December 2017 news/details/2017-12-15-lb-foster-supplies-red-rock-dam-hydroelectric-project-piling-material