Working in the Dry: Cofferdams, In-River Construction, and The United States Army Corps of Engineers

In 2006, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District engaged Gray & Pape through Woolpert, Inc., to document and analyze the history of cofferdams and in-the-wet construction technology used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Gray & Pape architectural historians carried out wide-ranging and extensive documentary research, encompassing more than 150 years of Corps of Engineers history. The resulting study documents the Corp’s use of cofferdams in inland river construction, with particular emphasis on the evolution of design, construction, and analytical methods. The study findings were published in a 2009 book, Working in the Dry: Cofferdams, In-River Construction, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers and received the National Council on Public History’s 2011 Award for Excellence in Consulting. The Public Historian called the book “a learned, thoughtful, and crisply written account…based on solid research and supported by extensive notes. [An] exemplary work of public historical scholarship.”

Working in the dry: Cofferdams, in-river construction, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers


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