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How to Ace a FERC Hydropower Dam Inspection [NEW]

Posted by Rory Alsberg on September 01, 2020

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity in the United States. An important duty of FERC is to monitor conditions of the more than 1,700 non-federal, electricity-generating dams in the US. They also set standards that hydropower project owners must follow to ensure the safety of the general public. This includes mandating regular inspections of hydropower projects to certify they are in sound condition and comply with the Commission’s safety standards. Owners not in compliance with the Commission’s inspection standards risk losing their power generating license.

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Rural Dam Construction Areas Gain Access to Internet

J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan) recently won a contract with AECOM Energy and Construction (AECOM) for remediation work on LaGrange Lock and Dam on the Illinois River. The contract required us to partake in major gate and concrete rehab while supplying wireless internet access not only to our own Brennan office trailers, but also to prime contractor AECOM and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the duration of the multi-year project.

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Dive Inspection Leads to Underwater Dam Repairs in Colorado

Posted by Adam Thorson on March 04, 2020

Through multiple successful projects, J.F. Brennan Company (Brennan) developed a great partnering relationship with the Midwest group of Xcel Energy® (Xcel). From Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dive inspections and innovative dam repair projects to the implementation of amphibious equipment and helicopters for transmission line installation, we are always looking at ways of incorporating Brennan’s “can-do” attitude into all client interactions. This year, we got the opportunity to work with Xcel’s Western group.

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Most-Searched Blog Topics of 2019

Posted by Kimberly Walters on January 07, 2020

Brennan blog posts were viewed 13,622 times in 2019. Reviewing our most-searched blog topics helps us construct a list of the marine industry's most critical topics and those most pertinent to our company. So, what were the most-searched topics?

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The Science Behind Radial Gate Tensioning

Posted by Dillon Hogan on November 27, 2018

At Brennan, we have worked on many dams of various sizes and functions. As very few new dams are built each year, most of our work consists of rehabilitation and repairs. Dams are built to last for long periods of time, however certain components will require periodic repairs and replacements. For instance, radial gates are some of the most common components that need attention. In our experience, we have found certain best practices that will increase the lifespan of these gates, as well as increase their functionality. 

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Fighting Scour With Articulating Block Mats

Posted by Dillon Hogan on August 07, 2018

Save Money with This Long-term Fix for Scour Problems

Scour poses a large threat to the stability of any structure that is partially or entirely underwater. It may develop slowly over time, or be brought on quickly by an intense rain event or seasonal flooding. In some cases, such as along a shoreline, scour can be very evident. In others, scour can go unnoticed for an extended period of time. Whether it is taking place around the footing of a bridge pier, along the base of a sheet pile wall, or along a tailrace on a dam, scour may not be evident until the structure begins to show signs above the water. At this point, the structure is beginning to fail and repairs must be done soon to avoid a total loss of integrity. Repairing scour and erosion issues that may be going unnoticed in any location is vital as it will save a lot of money in the long run, and extend the life of the structure.

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Stabilizing Dams Using Post-Tensioned Anchors

Posted by Dave Laack on May 01, 2018

Post-tensioned rock and soil anchors provide an optimal solution  for dam stabilization.According to the Post-Tensioning Institute, post-tensioned rock and soil anchors provide a cost-efficient, high-performance solution for projects in need of temporary and permanent stabilization solutions. There are numerous different post-tension applications in the construction industry, but one of the most important areas is in dam stabilization.

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Waterway Infrastructure from the Eyes of Those Who Build It

Posted by Mark Binsfeld on March 22, 2018

There is a lot of buzz around the president’s infrastructure plan lately. It is clear that everyone wants better infrastructure, regardless to which party an individual may belong. The biggest challenge to getting what everyone wants is funding, and making matters more difficult, the allocation of this funding is another source of disagreement. As a contractor that provides construction services to owners of infrastructure, it is clear that the waterways are suffering the most from lack of investment.

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Discover the Value of Vinyl Sheet Piling

Posted by Samantha Schmitz on September 18, 2015

Traditionally when it comes to installing sheet piling around a bridge pier or along an embankment we think of steel sheet piling.  Steel sheet piling are the most common, and have been one of the most effective methods of installing a deep foundation.  They have a long history of providing a robust barrier through shaped, interlocking sheets that can last for 75+ years. 

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