97 CES designs and builds frangible flood gates

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Robert Sizelove
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 97th Civil Engineer Squadron “Dirt Boyz” at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma poured and leveled concrete for a flood debris control gate on Dec. 9th, 2021. This is the seventh gate designed and built by the 97 CES on base. A total of eight gates have been constructed, with one on the south side of the base built by contractors. Each gate built by the 97 CES saves the Air Force an average of $90K compared to similar work performed by contractors.

These gates are ‘frangible’ and work by breaking on purpose. When a rain event occurs, debris carried by the water can clog and damage the base's perimeter fence. The 97 CES’s solution to this problem was to design and install frangible gates where water enters or exits the base.

The gates are engineered to break in a specific location when water pressure builds up behind them. After the water recedes, any gates that were breached can easily be ‘reset’ by replacing an inexpensive and readily available locking mechanism.