Friday, July 2, 2010

Corps Closes Crumbling Lock Wall to Rec Boaters

Recreational boaters should expect delays this weekend near Allegheny River Lock and Dam 2. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a severely deteriorated chamber wall poses a safety hazard to recreational boaters and will be closed off indefinitely. The lock itself remains open.

Terry Falcon, the corps' Allegheny River Operations Manager says a 180-ft concrete landwall section of the chamber is unusable and boaters will not be allowed to moor along it while traveling up and down the river during the facility's busiest weekend of the summer.

"We had a ten foot section of the lock wall fall into the chamber recently, and it just isn't safe. Boaters may be asked to raft off each other if they fill up all available mooring hooks on the usable portion. Otherwise, they'll have to wait for the next lockage."

The navigation facility is the gateway lock for those heading from Pittsburgh up the Allegheny River and for those venturing down the Allegheny to enjoy the city festivities.
Dave Sneberger, the district's navigation chief, says the Corps will close the entire Allegheny River for 21 days in mid-September to address critical backlog maintenance, though repairing the lock wall was not originally on the schedule. "We'll try to scare up some money and get it on the schedule, but it's not a definite."

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