Contractors working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District install a 23-foot-tall concrete shaft enclosure weighing approximately 120,000 pounds as part of the guard wall at the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 4 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Nov. 16, 2023.

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Author: Andrew Byrne
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  • October

    From analog machines to machines learning: the Pittsburgh District’s nascent relationship with artificial intelligence

    Artificial intelligence (AI) took the world by storm in 2023 when various rapidly-improving text-language models became publicly available. Since then, the human race has delved into the wacky, wild world of AI and faced some pressing questions: how do I trust the content I find online? Is my self-driving car plotting world domination? Will my toaster have a midlife crisis?
  • August

    New commander assumes mission responsibility of Pittsburgh District

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District welcomed a new commander with the symbolic passing of the engineer flag during a ceremony at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Aug. 4, 2023.
  • July

    Woodcock Creek Lake celebrates Golden Jubilee

    “We lived with floods, pretty much every year.” That was the reality for Saegertown Borough Manager Charles Lawrence and many others living in the wake of the frequently flooding French Creek before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District built Woodcock Creek Lake Dam.
  • June

    Is Union City Dam broken? The dry bed reservoir functions just right

    By definition, a dam is “a barrier preventing the flow of water or of loose solid materials such as soil or snow”…so why does Union City Dam sometimes look like there’s no water in it? That contradiction is by design: Union City Dam is the only “dry” reservoir in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District.
  • May

    Headwaters Highlights: Dam Safety Team Conducts Regular ‘Doctor Visits’ to Prevent Flooding Disasters

    The Pittsburgh District dam safety team develops and maintains emergency action plans and works with emergency managers and first responders to ensure communities are safe from potential dam risks or failures.
  • Headwaters Highlights: New Cumberland Locks and Dam

    If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed New Cumberland Locks and Dam in 1839 instead of 1961, it might have been called Vernon Locks and Dams or Cuppytown Locks and Dam, named after John Cuppy, who designed the town and named it Vernon. Instead, the earliest land buyers in Vernon requested Cuppy to name the town after Cumberland, Maryland – and a town was born. But, more importantly, a lock and dam found its name.
  • Headwaters Highlights: New Cumberland Locks and Dam

    If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed New Cumberland Locks and Dam in 1839 instead of 1961, it might have been called Vernon Locks and Dams or Cuppytown Locks and Dam, named after John Cuppy, who designed the town and named it Vernon. Instead, the earliest land buyers in Vernon requested Cuppy to name the town after Cumberland, Maryland – and a town was born. But, more importantly, a lock and dam found its name.
  • April

    Pittsburgh District’s Water Quality team conducts first “spring pulse”

    Millions of gallons of water rushed out of the Kinzua Dam every minute for eight hours straight into the Allegheny River. The outflow caused the Allegheny River to rise by almost two feet. The water pushed out of the dam with massive force, resembling giant firehoses opened to full blast. This water release event was seven years in the making, a perfect storm of conditions that allowed water quality experts to replicate a spring pulse.
  • March

    New hoists at Crooked Creek Lake offer flood protection for the next 75 years

    They may just look like large hunks of metal, but the new hoists installed at Crooked Creek Lake will go hard at work to reduce the risk of floods in the greater Pittsburgh region for the next 75 years or longer. The hoists – weighing 38,000 pounds apiece – work to lift reservoir gates to control the lake’s water level and mitigate flooding downstream. Flood mitigation is one of the Corps of Engineers’ primary missions, and Crooked Creek Dam has helped prevent flooding for both the local community and downtown Pittsburgh since the dam’s construction in 1938.
  • November

    Pittsburgh District provides power team to hurricanes Ian and Fiona relief effort

    Imagine everything in your house – furniture, family heirlooms – floating away in a flood. Then imagine your house floating away in it, too. To call it ‘bleak’ is an understatement. However, that is the terror many experienced in September when hurricanes Ian and Fiona devastated Puerto Rico and the southeastern corner of the United States.
Chick Lock

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