FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is seeking comment from the public on a proposal to reduce the operating hours at locks on the Okeechobee Waterway in accordance with a national strategy to standardize lock operations.
The new proposed operating hours at each of the five locks are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. The proposed change would take effect on April 1, and would affect the following locks:
• Moore Haven Lock on the west side of Lake Okeechobee
• Ortona Lock near LaBelle
• Port Mayaca Lock on the east side of Lake Okeechobee
• St. Lucie Lock near Stuart
• W.P. Franklin Lock near Fort Myers
“These changes are the result of an evaluation of the service levels at each of the locks as the Corps and the Army seek methods to gain efficiencies on water transit systems across the nation,” said Jim Jeffords, Operations Division Chief for Jacksonville District. “These changes will allow the district to reduce costly overtime while still maintaining operating hours that accommodate 95 percent of the boat traffic that passes through the locks.”
Written comments on this proposal are being accepted until February 13, 2014. Comments may be submitted via –email to SFOO@usace.army.mil or mailed to the following location:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
South Florida Operations Office
525 Ridgelawn Road
Clewiston, FL 33440
The proposed changes won’t impact Canaveral Lock near Port Canaveral; it will continue to operate from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. The Corps has issued a Notice to Navigation on this subject. For more information on navigation notices concerning Canaveral Lock or the Okeechobee Waterway, please visit the following website: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/NoticestoNavigation.aspx.
Release no. 15-005