Locks and Dams

Red River Lock 1 To Reopen November 18

Officials with the Vicksburg Engineer District announced that Lindy C. Boggs Lock, also known as Lock 1, on the Red River near Marksville, La., will reopen to navigation November 18, following emergency repairs to the miter gate anchorage on the lower land-side gate.

The lockmaster at Boggs Lock discovered cracks in the miter gate anchorage on September 28, and the lock has been closed to navigation the majority of the time since. Welding to repair the cracks concluded November 1, but by then Corps officials discovered the lower gate was out of alignment.

After about two weeks struggling with stuck wedges and other adjustment components, Corps officials told industry representatives November 16 that the gates are close enough to plumb to resume locking.

“We’ve made all the adjustments we can make,” said David Jenkins, deputy chief of the Vicksburg District’s operations division. “The Engineer Research Development Center put up some strain gages yesterday. We also had some guys on ropes checking to see the alignment of the gates. Bottom line is we’re within an acceptable amount of tolerance. There’s still medium risk associated with that, but we’re putting everything back in its place and planning to start locking at 0600 Saturday morning without any restrictions, 24/7 like normal.”

The gates are still not in alignment according to the original design standards, Jenkins said, and the district plans to develop a plan and budget and will eventually apply for funding to make any needed repairs.

Whether that plan and the needed funds are approved in a few months or a few years, the district will communicate and collaborate with industry to make the repairs, Jenkins said.

“If we get those funds, it will be a scheduled repair,” Jenkins said, “and we will absolutely give everyone plenty of time and notice up front so they can make their movements.”

Regarding the just-completed work, Jenkins said he was proud of his repair team, which has been working day in and day out to get the lock back into operation.

“These guys have worked every day for the last month with no time off,” Jenkins said. “There have been several nights where they’ve stayed up all night long. I really appreciate that. They make us all look good, and they’re the ones out there getting dirty in the elements.”

Jenkins also thanked industry for being patient through the delays and surprises that emerged with the repair work.

“I know it’s been very frustrating for me, so I can’t imagine how much frustration you guys have felt,” Jenkins said. “I do appreciate the communication and understanding.”

Jenkins said he expects normal operations when the lock reopens, with no restrictions.