Corps investigating lock failure on Ohio River
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials are investigating the failure of a gate at the Markland Locks and Dam on the Ohio River in northern Kentucky.
A segment of the gate broke loose and fell into the water on Sunday, Sept. 27. Corps officials were forced to close the main lock and open a smaller auxiliary lock.
Corps spokesman Todd Hornback said that a board is being formed to do a detailed study. He says the agency located the fallen gate segment on September 28 and is working to drain the water from the 1,200 foot-long lock chamber.
Hornback says barge traffic is moving slowly through the auxiliary gate, since it is only half the size of the main gate.
Corps officials are trying to determine whether the gate door can be reattached, said Carol Labashosky, a public affairs specialist in Louisville.
"Our goal is to keep the river open," Labashosky said.
She said divers will do biweekly inspections of the auxiliary gate to be sure it can withstand the new workload. She said there was no time estimate for how long it could take to have the main gate working again.
The Markland Locks and Dam received federal funding for new gates this year, but they weren't due to be installed until 2011. Labashosky said the new gates are currently being built.
Source: Associated Press