U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change lock hours on ACF system

Published 7:24 am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

MOBILE, Ala. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District announced Tuesday, Oct. 9 that they will be changing the hours and days of operations of their locks on the Alabama River and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Rivers (ACF) system beginning February 1, 2013. The changes in the Levels of Service at each lock are being implemented as a result of the Corps’ nationwide effort to reduce costs by standardizing lock service levels based on actual usage while still providing efficient support to the navigation community and other waterway users.

Lock usage will be reviewed annually and adjustments in the Level of Service will be made if needed.

“The new Levels of Service on each river system are based on historic usage patterns,” said E. Patrick Robbins, Public Affairs Officer, Mobile District. “During the new operating hours the locks will be periodically operated to ensure machinery is properly functioning.”

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Locks on the two river systems will be manned 10 hours per day, four days per week. Locks will be closed on holidays and when lock operators are on annual or sick leave.

Locks will be staffed Friday thru Monday during the spring and summer (March – September) and Monday thru Thursday during the fall and winter (October thru February).

All commercial traffic must schedule an appointment for lockage.  Locks will be made available twenty four hours per day, seven days per week for appointments by commercial traffic.  Non-commercial traffic may be accommodated during the hours locks are manned, subject to availability of lock operators and in conjunction with maintenance activities and as those activities allow.

“We will continue to make lockages for seasonal fish passages for environmental reasons,” Robbins said.  “We will also modify lock operating hours to accommodate special events by request.”

Lock staffing on the Alabama River will be from 6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Central Time. On the ACF, the lock staffing will be from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  Locks affected on the Alabama River are Claiborne, Millers Ferry and R.F. Henry.  On the ACF system, they are Jim Woodruff, George W. Andrews and Walter F. George.

Locks on the Alabama River can be reached at the following numbers: Claiborne Lock – (251) 282-4575 Millers Ferry – (334) 682-4877 R.F. Henry – (334) 872-9525 Or you can contact the BW&T/Alabama-Coosa Project Management Office (Mr. Anthony Perkins) at (205) 752-3571.

Locks on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Rivers can be reached at the following numbers: Woodruff Lock – (850) 663-4692 Andrews Lock – (229) 723-3482 Walter F. George – (229) 768-2032 Or you can contact the ACF Rivers Project Office (Mr. Bill Smallwood) at (334) 232- 4542.

Non-commercial traffic should contact the lock(s) prior to planning a trip to ensure the lock is operational.  Locks will be closed on all Federal Holidays.