Coffeeville Lock Back Open To Navigation
After an emergency closure that lasted about a week, Coffeeville Lock, located at Mile 116.6 on the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway (BWT) is back open to navigation. The Mobile Engineer District announced the opening April 21, after the district closed the lock April 14.
To clear the vessel queue that built up during the closure, the Corps instituted a temporary traffic management plan. According to the plan, the Mobile District’s mv. Lawson and the floating crane Choctawhatchee locked upriver and out of the channel. After that, lock personnel moved three tows downbound at a time, followed by three tows locking upbound. The Corps planned to lock through commercial traffic only until the queue had been cleared, after which recreational vessels would begin locking through.
The Corps anticipates closing the lock again for a 24-hour period between April 26 and 27 to allow crews to make final adjustments to the gate machinery and to pour concrete.
The Corps put the emergency closure in place at Coffeeville Lock after damage to the lower miter gate’s operating machinery was discovered. Corps personnel had found cracking in the reaction roller assembly for the lower miter gate, likely due to long-term fatigue.