By USACE Public AffairsFebruary 28, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- How do you build a soccer stadium in a major metropolitan area? Or a lock and dam on a major river without disrupting traffic? Or repair a devastated power grid?
These are the topics discussed at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lunch 'n' Learn event, on Feb. 22 at the USACE headquarters in Washington, D.C., designed to support the professional development of the force. The event was one of several activities in the National Capital Region during National Engineer Week, Feb. 17-24.
Since the vision of the Army Corps of Engineers is to "engineer solutions for our Nation's toughest challenges," it seemed appropriate that engineers would analyze some of those challenges and how they were solved.
First, Derek Brown and Jessica Marine of Turner Construction described the process and challenges of constructing Audi Field in Washington, D.C., the new home for the D.C. United professional soccer team. They described challenges such as the logistics plan, testing and removing contaminated soil, working around existing easements, and maximizing the space allotted.
Next, USACE Engineer of the Year, David Kiefer, of Louisville District, described the process and challenges of constructing the Olmstead Lock and Dam on the Ohio River, which was just completed in January of this year. This lock and dam will reduce tow and barge delays on the Ohio River by replacing Lock and Dam 52 and 53, which date back to 1929. Kiefer described how "in-the-wet" construction was used to reduce costs and to minimize the impact on river operations during construction.
Col. John Lloyd discussed the power grid restoration in Puerto Rico resulting from Hurricanes Irma and Maria this past fall. Lloyd described the storms' impact to the island and how USACE performed work based on mission assignments received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He talked about some of the key challenges faced by Task Force Power Restoration including the most prominent one -- getting materials transported to an island a thousand miles away so engineers could begin grid repair.
Because continuous professional development is important to a highly complex and technical field such as engineering, one of the USACE objectives during Engineer Week was to "promote the professional development of engineers." Staying current on state-of-the-art methods and technologies helps USACE "engineer solutions for our Nation's toughest challenges.