Locks and Dams

Calcasieu Lock Sector Gate Work Nears Completion

Work to replace armoring of the four gate bays of the sector gates at Calcasieu Lock on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) near Lake Charles, La., is nearing completion. The New Orleans Engineer District estimates the project will be complete well before the end of the month.

Vic Landry, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Bonnet Carré Spillway operations manager for the  district, said that repair work is part of the larger project of replacing the lock’s western guidewall, which was completed almost a year ago.

“We added some work to the original concrete guidewall contract to replace the old, damaged steel armoring on the sector gate bays,” Landry said. “This work has caused additional daytime closures recently, similar to the guidewall closures that wrapped up last summer.

“[The] good news is that this work will be complete in two weeks,” he added, speaking April 9.

The lock, which is closed to navigation on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., had seen a recent surge in vessels waiting on turn, with the largest number of vessels and longest waits occurring for westbound tows. That was due in part to a surge of vessels passing through Leland Bowman Lock, which resumed normal operations April 7 following work to install a new gate on the eastern end of the lock chamber.

As of April 7, westbound tows in the queue at Calcasieu numbered near 60. Lock operators that night locked through westbound tows only, with 19 vessels locking through overnight. On April 8 beginning at 6 p.m., the lock was open to eastbound tows only, followed by six hours of westbound tows only.

Beginning at 6 p.m. April 10, Calcasieu Lock was scheduled to be open to navigation around the clock, with construction set to begin again at 6:30 a.m. April 14.