In September, the SLSDC moved one step closer toward installing Hands-Free Mooring (HFM) technology at its locks. SLSDC employees have been working diligently to install the HFM operating equipment and controls in preparation for the manufacturer’s final on-site testing and certification. As a result, HFM technology is scheduled to be commissioned at Eisenhower Lock this fall before the end of the 2018 navigation season.
The “slot” construction work at Snell Lock was also successfully completed during this past winter’s shutdown period, and the contractor is scheduled to finish installing the HFM slots and railings during the upcoming 2019 winter shutdown period. The final installation and commissioning of the HFM operating equipment and controls at Snell Lock is anticipated during the 2019 navigation season.
Once HFM technology is commissioned at Snell Lock, the SLSDC, in collaboration with the SLSMC, will realize their mutual goal of providing HFM technology throughout the entire Seaway.
The SLSDC’s transition to HFM has involved a tremendous amount of planning and resources to develop the infrastructure and the engineering, maintenance and operational procedures needed for the successful implementation of this groundbreaking technology. Since the opening of the Seaway almost 60 years ago, no other project will have made such a significant impact on the way commercial ships transit the locks — enabling faster and more efficient transits while also enhancing workplace and operational safety for both employees and customers.