LITTLE ROCK — The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District has discontinued maintenance lock closures at two Arkansas River locks.
On July 1, Trimble Lock, near Fort Smith, and Ozark Lock, at Ozark, ceased maintenance closures and implemented the recreational lockage closures. Since October 2012, lock maintenance closures have been conducted from 8 a.m. till noon daily, during which time no boats have been locked.
The recreational lock closures are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday excluding federal holidays. Commercial and government vessels will be locked through at any time, as long as the locks are operational.
Recreational lock closures have been in effect since early June at all Arkansas River locks except Trimble and Ozark allowing personnel to perform preventive and scheduled maintenance.
"During our public workshops we heard that our recreational boaters wanted the locks to be available weekends and during fishing tournaments," Little Rock’s Chief of Operations’ John Balgavy said. "We believe that the policy allows recreational boaters to use the navigation system when it’s most convenient to them and still allows the Corps to perform maintenance that ensures that the system remains a resilient, reliable, and sustainable system."
The recreational lockage policy takes into account special scheduled events such as bass tournaments, flotillas and civil celebrations by approval of a special event permit.
Groups that need to apply for a special event permit should contact the Russellville Project Office for events occurring upstream of Murray Lock and Dam or the Pine Bluff Project Office for events occurring downstream of Murray Lock and Dam. For events that occur on both sides of Murray Lock and Dam, either office may be contacted. The Russellville’s office number is 501-340-1758 and the Pine Bluff’s office number is 501-340-1309.
Daily river information can be obtained on the Internet at www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil or the Corps’ free mobile App which can be found in mobile App stores by searching USACE Little Rock.
For information about recreation on Little Rock District waters, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/littlerockusace, and on twitter at twitter.com/usacelittlerock.