In late September, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, awarded a $10.2 million contract to Newt Marine Service out of Dubuque, Iowa, for mooring dolphin replacement and an $18.6 million contract to Kraemer North America out of Plain, Wis., for the design-build of a straight-line mooring solution at the district's Fountain City Services Base in Pool 5A of the Upper Mississippi River, located in Fountain City.

The service base serves as the mooring point for the corps' fleet during months when the river is closed due to ice. It is also the home base for the district's heavy equipment, such as cranes, bulldozers and excavators, used to maintain the district's locks and dams and floating plant. 

"The project is a very important opportunity to modernize and upgrade our Fountain City Service Base with safer and more efficient infrastructure," said Rob Maroney, corps' project manager. "We have used this facility for the construction, repair and maintenance of our vessels and equipment for more than a century now."

The Fountain City Service Base Sustainment and Modernization Project is a two-phase project to improve the function and safety throughout the service base. The two objectives of the project are to replace the deteriorated mooring dolphins on the west side of the Fountain City harbor channel and modernize the service base. 

Phase one of this project will include replacing severely deteriorated mooring dolphins on the west side of the Fountain City harbor channel. This phase of the project utilized an AE firm for design of a new mooring system to replace the existing wood mooring dolphins on the west side of the entrance to the Fountain City Bay. The schedule objective is to complete a dolphin design and award a construction contract in fiscal year 2021 with construction starting in the fall of 2020 through September 2022.

Phase two of this project will include straightening out of the existing harbor wall, leveling the grade at the service base, adding two crane cells and updating electrical and water infrastructure. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring of 2023 and could take up to two years.