Upper Mon Lock Service to be Cut; Informational Meeting Scheduled

Boat Pittsburgh
13 July 2012

Due to budget cuts the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were forced to close Locks 8 and 9 on the Allegheny River this year and they also reduced service hours on the remaining 6 locks.  Unfortunately it looks like a similar fate is upon the Locks on the Upper Monongahela River.

The USACE’s preliminary plan will close the Hildebrand and Opekiska Locks to recreational traffic and reduce service at the Morgantown Lock to weekends and holidays only for recreational boaters.  This will mean that boaters that like to travel to the origin of the Monongahela River in Fairmont, WV will no longer be able to make that trip.

Prior to finalizing any plans, the USACE, Upper Monongahela River Association (UMRA), Mon River Recreation & Commerce Committee (MRRCC) of Morgantown Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring an informational meeting this Tuesday, July 17 from 6-8 pm in Morgantown, WV.  This will be the public’s opportunity to hear and provide input and comments on the USACE Proposed Upper Monongahela River Service Reduction Plan. The Plan may 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 outlined. Public input is important as the USACE reviews the options available.

The meeting will take place at the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) Assembly Room 101 A/B, Evansdale Campus, Morgantown WV.  Boaters that can’t make the meeting are urged to email their comments on the service reductions to the UMRA, courtesy of their secretary Don Strimbeck.  Please provide contact information including phone number and give permission for the UMRA to share your comments with the local newspaper, the Dominion Post.

The USACE held similar meetings in 2010 and 2011 prior to the service reductions on the Allegheny River.  The meetings did allow various stakeholders including boaters, marina owners, commercial interests, and others to provide input on what service plan will work the best for those parties involved.

For more information on the Monongahela Lock service reductions, please got to UpperMon.org and  MonRiverSummit.org.
GO TO UpperMon.org .  Click on Lock Hours in menu. Read the resolution we proposed back in 2003, which asks congress to add boating recreation to Corps of Engineers job jar for navigable rivers. Note support for this resolution from entities in Monongahela and Allegheny river watersheds!

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