Photo of the Week
May 23, 1999
|This is one of a series of photos that I took
one afternoon on top of Cerro Luisa during a overhaul at Pedro Miguel Locks. This is
a very interesting photo, as it shows the Crane Hercules in one strange setting. It
looks like the crane's barge is sitting on the lock chamber's floor and supporting this
miter gate. It is very evident that I took this photo during the rainy season as the
water is very muddy. Thought you might enjoy this one of a kind photo. I may
do a complete presentation of all the other photos I took this day.
Comments from my friend Mike Norman after I posted this photo:
I thoroughly enjoyed the pic of the Hercules at Pedro Miguel. I worked this job (and many, many others) and the uniqueness of this particular job was that MG-64 had been struck by a ship about 1 1/2 years prior and was bent. We had tried on a couple other occasions to FORCE it back square but were miserably unsuccessful. With the gate warped as it was, it caused the Control House to shake violently, almost like an earthquake, every time the water was lowered to within 15 ft. of Miraflores Lake Level. We were afraid that eventually, the building would begin breaking up or other structural damage may occur to the Locks Walls and Chamber. That would result in a disastrous breaching of the integrity of the structure with the resulting possibility of releasing 26 million gallons of water, tidal wave like, across the lake and OVER Miraflores Locks. It took Industrial Division over two years at the Syncrolift in Mt. Hope to straighten the gate. At one point, I visited the work site and saw no fewer than 12, 250-350 ton hydraulic jacks employed in their attempt. Eventually, the skin had to be removed and the internal beams and stringers straightened in order to bring it back into line.
Most interesting are the two Steam Cranes pictured on the Sidewalls, Old Numbers 98 and 99. Probably the last pictures taken of them as they were decommissioned and excessed as scrap shortly after. They should have been retired to a museum.
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