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Sorensen Systems designed, built and installed three power units and two remote operator panels for controlling the lock system.


The historic RiverWalk was originally built in 1938 and has recently undergone a major $279 million improvement project extending the river
1.3 miles.


The control panel monitors smooth gate movement, correct operational sequence and verification of gate opening and
closing speeds


Water Level Control & New Locks
Provided for Tourist River Boats

When the City of San Antonio committed itself to lengthening and improving its famous River Walk tourist attraction a key improvement was the design and installation of new locks and a crest gate. As part of the overall $279 million investment over three years, Sorensen Systems was engaged to provide the design, construction and start-up of three power units and two remote operator panels for controlling the lock system.

Working cooperatively with Steel Fab Inc. of Massachusetts, two sets of miter gates for the lock chambers used to raise or lower boats where the river level changes, and a crest gate to provide stable, maintainable flood control were designed and installed at the site. The improvements were part of an expansion that expanded the river 1.3 miles.

PLC Driven Control

Steel Fab was responsible for the manufacture and installation supervision of the gates and Sorensen Systems was responsible for the Hydraulic Power Units to drive the gates and the PLC driven control system to operate the gates. The two companies have worked together on similar projects in the past, including the 96 foot crest gate on the Wachusett River in Clinton, MA. The reservoir is a primary source of drinking water for Boston.

During installation and start-up, Sorensen Systems and Steel Fab each had technicians on site working jointly to ensure a smooth transition from construction to functional tourist transportation. The responsibilities included the verification of proper gate sealing, smooth gate movement, correct operational sequence in addition to verifying gate opening and closing speeds and proper water transfer rates.

Lock System Design

Due to the severe difference in water elevation, a lock system was required in the design. The control system allows the tour boats to enter and leave the dam system and is responsible for raising and lowering water levels smoothly and safely. The remote operator system built by Sorensen Systems provides the tour boat operators with a graphical view of the operational sequence of the gates via a touch screen located in the operator's booth.

The historic San Antonio River has long served as the heart of the city, and each year the world-renowned River Walk draws millions of visitors. Originally built in 1938, the new expansion is part of a process to increase recreational and economic development while reclaiming the river's natural meanders and appearance.




Sorensen Systems

A Subsidiary of THG Corporation
70 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532

T: 508-393-7660
F: 508-393-6042


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70 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532

  Phone: 508-393-7660
Fax: 508-393-8203
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