By Ms. Sandra Arnold (USACE)July 26, 2011
Ensuring operational readiness and compliance
of the Brazos River Floodgates for nearly
2,500 commercial and recreational vessels
each month is no easy task, but it's one that a handful
of talented U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a
dedicated lockmaster make look easy.
Robert Page, an employee of the Corps for
more than 28 years, has held the position of the
Brazos River Floodgates lockmaster since 2009,
successfully juggling a variety of responsibilities
ranging from supervisory and administrative tasks to
maintenance and project rehabilitation.
"In May 2011 we removed the north and south
sector gates from their hinges as part of our first
major milestone in the Brazos River Floodgates
Rehabilitation Project," said Page. "Each of the
90-ton sector gates along with an additional 30
tons of organic material were removed for repair
and cleaning which will restore and enhance their
structural integrity and operation."
Part of a routine 9-10 year maintenance cycle
gate rehabilitation conducted by the Corps, this
project (once completed by early 2012) will help
decrease the number of future closures for corrective
repairs to sector gates and provide increased service
for commercial customers.
The rehabilitation project is one of the many
initiatives Page and his team have taken to reduce
dredging costs and improve customer service.
"I instituted an 'Industry Day' with our customers
to facilitate an open dialog with our users and learn
how we can implement measures to better serve both
our pleasure boaters and commercial industry," Page
Though managing the locks is a demanding
job, Page says that his 20 years as a lock and
dam equipment mechanic and five years as a lock
and dam operator have prepared him well for the
challenges and problem solving needed to maintain
operational readiness, but acknowledges that he could
not complete the mission without the support and
dedication of his close-knit team.
A U.S. Navy veteran and Terre Haute, Indiana
native, Page graduated with an associate's degree
from Brazosport Community College in 1987 and
calls Lake Jackson, Texas, home.