JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 6, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has announced it will temporarily close two locks along the Okeechobee Waterway in south Florida for repairs.
The Moore Haven Lock will close starting on June 11 to complete installation of the Manatee Protection System (MPS). The MPS is intended to protect endangered manatees that might be swimming in the vicinity of the lock gates. The lock is expected to be closed for about two months while installation is completed.
Concurrently, the Corps also plans to close the St Lucie lock beginning June 18 to undertake emergency repairs on the gates. A recent inspection revealed the gates at that lock weren’t closing completely due to damage on a seal. The lock is expected to be closed for about two weeks.
The Moore Haven Lock is located on the west side of Lake Okeechobee at the junction of the Caloosahatchee River. It was constructed in 1935 for navigation and flood control purposes. The St. Lucie Lock is located along the St. Lucie Canal, about 15 miles upstream from the intersection of the St. Lucie River and the Intracoastal Waterway. It was constructed in 1941 for navigation and flood control purposes. The Moore Haven and St Lucie Locks are two of five locks located in the 154-mile Okeechobee Waterway, which allows safe passage of vessels from the Atlantic Ocean near Stuart to the Gulf of Mexico at Fort Myers.
Notices to Navigation have been issued for both closures. An additional Notice to Navigation has also been issued advising boaters of construction activity taking place east of Moore Haven along the Herbert Hoover Dike, which surrounds the lake.
Release no. 12-047