Locks and Dams

Crew Change Protocols On MKARNS Updated

The Tulsa Engineer District and Little Rock Engineer District, working together, issued changes on April 1 to crew change procedures at locks and dams along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) in response to the challenges of the coronavirus.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, mariners are required to follow these procedures for crew changes at all MKARNS Locks in the Little Rock and Tulsa Districts. Industry must contact the lock four hours in advance of the anticipated crew change.

The number and names of the crew will be provided, along with delivery of supplies.

No industry personnel shall be allowed inside Corps control houses or buildings during crew changes, except in the case of medical emergency.

Crew changes will still be allowed on the lock wall, but personnel must go directly from the vehicle to the motor vessel.

Industry personnel will be required to use their own facilities while navigating through the lock.

The physical exchange of trip tickets from crew members to lock staff members will still not be allowed and must be communicated by some other means prior to transiting the lock.

These changes are effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.

Robert Steiner, navigation operation manager for the Tulsa Engineer District, said each Corps district is working out its own lock crew change protocols, but in close communication with each other. He said cargoes are continuing to move on the MKARNS system. Shoaled areas left over from last year’s floods have mostly been cleared. A dredge is still working in Pool 16, and there are minor dredging jobs remaining in Pool 17 and 18.

Questions or requests for additional information concerning this notice should be directed to the Little Rock District Office at 501-324-5739, or to Steiner at 918-775-4475 ext 5833.