Oahe Powerplant Bridge Crane Rehab, Oahe Dam, South Dakota

Mechanical and electrical rehabilitation of two 250-ton powerhouse cranes.

Oahe Dam is located 6 miles north of Pierre, South Dakota. It’s the largest electricity producer on the Missouri River producing 2.8 billion kilowatts annually, which is enough to power 259,000 households for a year.


WEMCO was hired as a Prime Contractor by the US Army Corps of Engineers to perform complete mechanical and electrical rehabilitation of two 250-ton capacity powerhouse cranes built in 1962. The project design featured new trolley frames, end truck bogie pin connections with new greaseable bushings, new end truck wheels on one crane with replacement gears, new hoists including large wire rope drums for both cranes, design of travel drives for the trolleys and both bridges. Engineering work also included the design of new cabs and completely new UL508 labeled VFD control systems.   

Rehabilitation is more complex than new crane manufacturing. The WEMCO team painstakingly and carefully disassembled the cranes to perform high levels of inspection required for delivering a quality finished project. After inspections were completed and all deficiencies were documented from the existing cranes, the project team worked diligently to complete a new design while respecting the original concepts and maximizing use of existing components.

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