Upper Monongahela River Association
Demonstration Project Proposal - Contributed Funds Operation of IMTS Level 6 Locks on Upper Allegheny and Upper Monongahela Rivers
The Allegheny River Development Corporation and the Upper Monongahela River Association have jointly prepared a proposal for a demonstration project which would show that "Contributed Funds" could be used to operate the Locks on the upper Allegheny and upper Monongahela rivers which have effectively been closed to recreational vessel travel because they have been classified as IMTS Level 6. This proposal has been submitted to the US House-Senate Conference Committee appointed to reconcile differences between the House WRRDA and Senate WRDA bills passed in 2013 and covering Waterways Development.
The text of our release may be found here.
The Upper Monongahela River Association has been working with the Pittsburgh District
On 26 March 2014 the Monongalia County Commission offered to be the conduit for contributed funds toward the part-time operation of the Upper Monongahela River Locks for recreational lock service.
You can read their letter here.
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) held a meeting on July 17, 2012 at the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) in Morgantown WV to present the USACE Proposed Upper Monongahela River Service Reduction Plan, and to hear public comments. Link to Agenda
If enacted, the Plan will include severe restrictions/reductions to recreational boat lockages at the Hildebrand and Opekiska locks, and reductions in Morgantown lock operations. Impacts on commercial passages will also be affected.
The PowerPoint presentation by COL William Graham, District Engineer, and MAJ C.J. Scott, Project Manager may be viewed here. (1.75 MB .PDF file)
The Monongahela is not being singled out for service reductions. Page 2 of this presentation indicates that 63 locks across the country will be likely to suffer service reductions. The Inland Marine Transportation System (IMTS) Board of Directors (an assembly of Corps officers) has decided that an IMTS wide approach will be developed for evaluating the Levels of Operating Service for inland navigation due to constrained funding in the face of an aging infrastructure and the increased cost of operations.
The projection is that we should expect the service to be reduced to commercial lockages only, and those only by appointment.
Additional background may be found in the Guideline for Range of Lock Operation Data presented to the Inland Waterways Users Board by Richard C. Lockwood, Chief, Operations & Regulatory Division HQUSACE on 6 June 2012.
Nationwide List of Locks Expected to be Affected
On September 26, 2012, UMRA Technical Coordinator Wally Venable gave a presentation to the Ohio River Basin Alliance outlining ideas for a federal-state (or federal-local) partnership to operate locks on the Upper Mon. A .PDF file of his "powerpoint" can be found here.
On 1 August 2012 the Marion County Commission signed a resolution Wednesday to show their support to keep the Hildebrand and Opekiska locks open.
Click here to view the Resolution as a 2.3 MB .PDF file
Click here to read the Resolution as a text file.
On 7 August 2012 the Morgantown City Council passed a resolution encouraging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the federal government to keep the Monongahela River locks open to recreational boaters. Barry Pallay, vice president of the Upper Monongahela River Association, presented the resolution to council Tuesday, 31 August 2012 during its Committee of the Whole meeting.
On 9 August 2012 the Monongalia County Development Authority, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
On 14 August 2012 the City of Fairmont, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
On 14 August 2012 the Town of Granville, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
On 15 August 2012 the City of Pleasant Valley, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
On 5 September 2012 the Monongalia County Commission, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
On 4 September 2012 the Town of Rivesville, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
On 11 September 2012 the Fairmont Urban Renewal Authority, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
Click here to view the Resolution as a 726 kB .PDF file
On 18 September 2012 the Town of Star City, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
On 19 September 2012 the Region VI Planning & Development Council, West Virginia, passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
On 10 October 2012 the MEPCO – Fort Martin/Granville/Maidsville Community Advisory Panel passed a resolution urging the locks be kept open.
There is an online petition to keep the lock and dams open. The URL for the online petition is
Senator Joe Manchin III wrote to Jo Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary for Civil Works U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on 18 July 2012, requesting additional information about the proposal to reduce lock operations on the Upper Monongahela River in West Virginia.
Secretary Darcy replied to Senator Manchin on 6 September 2012.
Click here to read her letter as a 97 kB .PDF file
Click here to read her Enclosures 1 to 3 as a 1 MB .PDF file
Note: This contains general information on Corps "Levels of Service" planning as of April 2012.
Click here to read her Enclosure 4 as a 154 kB .PPT file
Click here to read her Enclosure 5 as a 212 kB .PDF file
Note: This contains requested information on cost savings for Upper Mon
A more detailed description of the enclosures may be found here.
Congressman David B. McKinley, PE wrote to Jo Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary for Civil Works U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on 10 August 2012, requesting additional information about the proposal to reduce lock operations on the Upper Monongahela River in West Virginia.
Economic Issue - Fairmont Times West Virginian - 15 August 2012
WV] Locks Resolution OK’d - Morgantown Dominion
Post - 15 August 2012
You may find additional information on our UMRA In The News page.
The basic issue, serious underfunding of the US Inland Navigation System, is not a new one. UMRA has been helping to promote a wider understanding of the issues for over a decade. Some our earlier efforts are described on
Corps of Engineers to host public meeting on
proposal to reduce operating hours at
Minneapolis locks in 2013