Locks and Dams

Belleville Lock Chambers To Close For Screen Repairs

The Ohio River will close during daylight hours weekdays beginning September 6 at Mile 204.0 while intake screens are repaired in both the main and auxiliary chambers of Belleville (W.Va.) Locks and Dam.

The Huntington Engineer District knew the screens, which filter out logs and debris when the chambers are filling, were in need of repair and had already budgeted for it, but a routine annual inspection from divers a few weeks ago confirmed the extent of the problem, said Ryan Davis, assistant operations manager for the Huntington district.

“The current screens are the original screens, so they’re more than 60 years old,” he said.

Maintenance on the screens was scheduled about a year in advance, and funding is already in place, he said.

Commercial divers will repair the intake screens during the closures, which are scheduled from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The work is expected to be complete on or about September 30, according to a navigation notice from the Huntington Engineer District signed by Kent C. Browning, chief of the Technical Support Branch.

Mariners are urged to contact the lockmaster via marine radio on channel 13 for more information.

Travis Daugherty, natural resources specialist for the district, said that during the last fiscal year, from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021, Belleville Locks and Dams had 3,798 lockages. About 5 million tons of commodities travel through the lock each year, he said.