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Dam Ice
Dam Ice
The Army Corps of Engineers used $455 of Recovery Act money to rent two ice machines and 300 bags of ice for the Melvin Price Lock and Dam auxiliary gate repair modification project in East Alton, Ill.

The dam gates open and close with a tension rod much like a screen door, with one big exception -- each gate weighs 200 tons, which is just a little less than the Statue of Liberty.

When one of the replacement pins wouldn't fit in the tension rod, an engineer suggested freezing the hardware to contract it slightly.

Alas, that didn't work. But the engineers did find a use for all that ice.

"In early July and August, it's hot, and there's no wind in the dam" said Alan Duley, spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers. "We put the ice machines down there so people could fill up their Gatorade and water bottles."

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Last updated September 04 2009: 1:56 PM ET
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