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Monday, October 8, 2012 - 6:00am

Officials Ask Corps To Undo River Locks Closing

Updated: 2 years ago.
Officials are urging the federal government to reconsider a decision to quit staffing navigational locks built on the Chattahoochee River south of Columbus, Ga., and Phenix City, Ala. The Army Corps of Engineers plans to operate the locks, like the Jim Woodruff lock and dam on Lake Seminole, on an appointment-only basis to save money. (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District.)

Officials are urging the federal government to reconsider a decision to quit staffing navigational locks built on the Chattahoochee River south of Columbus, Ga., and Phenix City, Ala.

The government spent more than $100 million on the locks to allow for commercial barge traffic, but relatively few vessels use them.

Now, the Army Corps of Engineers plans to operate the locks on an appointment-only basis to save money. And they would be closed to recreational boaters like anglers who fish the river.

Georgia Rep. Sanford Bishop is asking the agency to reconsider. He says commercial traffic on the river already struggles.

Officials in Columbus have said they fear the decision will leave the city effectively cut off from the Gulf of Mexico.

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