By Ms. Sandra Arnold (USACE)August 29, 2012
GALVESTON, Texas (Aug. 29, 2012) -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District staff prepare to adjust operations at the Brazos River Floodgates and Colorado River Locks following a reduction in the Corps' nationwide inland navigation budget for fiscal year 2013.
The two Corps' owned and operated gated structures provide safe navigation on the Texas portion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and allow nearly 10,000 vessels to carry billions of dollars in merchandise along the Brazos and Colorado rivers annually.
"We will to continue evaluate our operations to ensure our lock and floodgate structures function in a manner that is both sustainable and adaptable to fiscal challenges and responsive to users' needs," said Col. Christopher W. Sallese, USACE Galveston District commander. "These operations will enable the USACE Galveston District to provide the best levels of service within the available budget, ensuring safe and expeditious navigation for commercial and recreational users along the Texas coast."
According to Sallese, reduction of wear and tear on navigation lock equipment and gates will prolong the life of the system and make available more operating dollars to address ongoing maintenance needs.
"The Galveston District will continue to support 24-hour operations at both locks however, gate swings will be limited from opening on demand to opening every hour on the hour," said Sallese.
According to Colorado River Lock Master Simon DeSoto, the change in operations is expected to affect more than 32,000 recreational boaters who use the two facilities each year but says the impact can be reduced on the Colorado River Locks if boaters use Bragg's Cut to avoid the locks' east gate completely.
Constructed earlier this year, the cut is expected to reduce recreational vessel traffic by an estimated 80 percent.
To learn more about the Brazos River Floodgates, visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/OperationsDivision/BrazosRiverFloodgatesSummary.aspx, or the Colorado River Locks at http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/OperationsDivision/ColoradoRiverLocksSummary.aspx. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.