As a member of a joint venture with HNTB Corporation and COWI North America, Barr provided design and construction plans for gate automation at the Soo Locks compensating works—the water-control system for a dam that spans the St. Marys River between Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The dam includes 16 gates—eight in Canadian waters and eight in the U.S. This project focused on the U.S. gates and was aimed at creating spawning habitat downstream of the compensating works as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The primary objective was to decrease water-level changes and optimize velocity in the downstream rapids by remotely controlling the gates.
Barr’s contributions to the project included mechanical engineering for a new gate hoist and actuator; electrical engineering for the power supply, motor-control center, control systems, and physical security system; design of instrumentation for measuring gate heights, water levels, and flow rates; design of two fiber-optic backbones for facilitating communication among controls, instruments, cameras, and public-warning and security systems; and HVAC design for a new electrical building. Barr’s design for the electrical system to power the gates and the electronically controlled data-communications system now allows workers to raise and lower the gates while on site or from a remote location.
Vice President Senior Mechanical Engineer
Vice President Senior Electrical Engineer