UMRA Fighting To Keep Locks Open
31 July 2012
By Andrew Clay, Monongalia and Preston County Reporter
The US Army Corps of Engineers plans to cut service to several
locks in the Monongahela River, but a local group is fighting to
keep them open.
On Tuesday, the Upper Monongahela River Association (UMRA) asked
the Morgantown City Council to support a resolution it has drafted
and a plan to present to the Corps of Engineers.
The association calls the resolution 'a comprise.' It's comprised
of 14 points that include keeping all three locks operational.
"It is not acceptable to close Opekiska and Hildebrand
permanently," said UMRA Vice President Barry Pallay. "There is no
public access to the Hildebrand pool, and in the Morgantown pool,
the Uffington boat ramp is the only other access aside from the
lock and that's silted in."
The resolution calls for the Opekiska and Hildebrand locks to
remain open for 45 days a year rather than being closed. Pallay
said currently, the locks are operational for 91 days.
The resolution also requests that the Morgantown lock stay open
The Army Corps of Engineers is planning the reduced service as
result of significant budget cuts from more than $8 million to $4